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Deployed sergeant served in Marines, Army, Navy and now Air Force (A One Man DoD)
Air Force Links ^ | Sep 14, 2005 | Master Sgt. Cheryl L. Toner

Posted on 09/14/2005 6:27:11 PM PDT by SandRat

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Staff Sgt. James Murphy isn’t your typical Airman. A 30-year-old tattoo of U.S.M.C. peeking out from his T-shirt sleeve and his no-nonsense attitude may shed light on some of his life story, but it wouldn’t come close to telling most of it.

Sergeant Murphy, a night shift supervisor for the flightline dining hall in the 380th Expeditionary Services Squadron, is deployed from the 920th Rescue Wing from Cocoa Beach, Fla.

After almost three years in the Air Force, the 48-year-old never thought he’d be here, in the Air Force. He also didn’t think he’d go from the Marines, to the Army National Guard, then to the Navy, and finally into the Air Force Reserve over a 30-year timeframe. “It’s not like I planned it,” he said.

But he said he remembers exactly when it all started.

“I remember being on a bus with my grandmother -- an old Irish woman -- and we passed a billboard with a Marine in his green winter service dress,” he said, smiling with the memory. “I remember pointing at it and telling my grandmother that’s what I wanted to be.” His grandmother looked down and the 6-year-old Murphy and said, “Oh boy son, those are tough men.”

The Bronx native held true to his dream, and in 1973 he dropped out of high school -- “We could do that back then,” he said -- and joined the Marines at age 17. He soon earned is GED and went on to serve nine years with the Marines. He admits, though, if he were to fast-forward time to 2005, he never would have guessed this would be the future: A former Marine trading his weapon for a spatula! Any Marine worth his salt probably would tell you they wouldn’t do it, not even on a dare.

However, there was a reason for each twist of his service.

Deciding to pursue a career in law enforcement, he left the Marines in the late 1970s. However, civilian life was too sedate for the former Marine, so he decided he wanted to come back. But it wasn’t meant to be. “They said I was too old,” he said. Not that Sergeant Murphy was too old to enlist or re-enlist. They said he probably wouldn’t want some young guy telling him what to do.

So he went into the Army National Guard. After a year, he decided he wanted more, but not of the Army. So, on a whim, he and one of his friends joined the Navy. As a Seabee military instructor, “it was kind of like the Marines,” he said. After four and one-half years, it still wasn’t enough to feed the patriot desire that burns within.

He said he is not a “war monger,” but he wanted to be in the mix of things. “I wanted to be where the action is,” he said. “I have no illusions (about war). I just feel like it’s the right thing to do. Serving is the price of citizenship.”

While he didn’t deploy, he did find himself in the middle of what looked like a war zone. Having worked as a customs agent in the World Trade Center and seeing the events of Sept. 11, 2001, unfold, he said he had to do something. Assigned to the Naval Reserve Headquarters in New Orleans, he worked federal orders to get assigned temporarily to the N.Y. National Guard. As the only Navy person on that type of orders, he is specifically noted in the Naval History Society archives.

Returning to his civilian law enforcement agency job, he still wanted to contribute more to the military and its worldwide reach.

So, living next to Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., the customs agent decided to go into the Air Force Reserve in 2002. Convinced that this time he would be in the mix somewhere, Sergeant Murphy raised his right hand for the fourth time, enlisting as an aerial gunner. “You have to see action doing that,” he said.

Yet after one and one-half years, “no slots, no school,” meant that he wasn’t deploying anywhere. He then decided to go into the services career field where he immediately went into training and eventually deployed. Finally.

He also finally was able to answer the call to action he saw in his youth. His father was in the Army during the Korean War. His neighborhood also was rife with former Marines who reflected the tough attitude of Sergeant John Stryker (John Wayne) in “The Sands of Iwo Jima.”

“The old Marines, telling stories like they do,” he said, “they were the best.”

He has no patience for “sunshine patriots” who, he said, “sit on bar stools and talk about what should be done, rather than doing what needs to be done.” In the end, he said all of the military services “got a fairly big chunk of me.” And that is exactly what he wanted.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airforce; army; deployed; marines; navy; now; sergeant; served

1 posted on 09/14/2005 6:27:13 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

ONE MAN ALL MILITARY PING


2 posted on 09/14/2005 6:27:53 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Well, he started with the hardest service and ended up with the easiest. Sometimes it takes a Marine a little longer to catch on.


3 posted on 09/14/2005 6:30:12 PM PDT by svxdave (Life is too short to wear a fake Rolex.)
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To: SandRat

My son spent 4 years in the Army and then joined the Navy for 6 years. He said he was going to join the Marines next but reupped in the Navy. I guess being with the Seabees(ms?) was the best of both, huh?:')


4 posted on 09/14/2005 6:31:24 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: SandRat
I had a history teacher who served in the Marines during Korea, finished up his tour of duty and then enlisted in the Army on Vietnam. Finished that up and decided the Air Force might be kind of cool, and served in the Air National Guard for a few years.

Then he went from a private school to a public school. I think he's seen all kinds of war... ;)
5 posted on 09/14/2005 6:33:45 PM PDT by birbear (Admit it. you clicked on the "I have already previewed" button without actually previewing the post.)
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To: SandRat

“sunshine patriots”


Like it..


6 posted on 09/14/2005 6:35:53 PM PDT by dakine
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To: SandRat
Isn't U.S.M.C. considered an obscene tattoo in the other branches of the service, and thus disqualifying?

So9

7 posted on 09/14/2005 6:39:06 PM PDT by Servant of the 9 (Those Poor Poor Rubber Cows)
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To: svxdave

That's pretty cool! I wonder how many people have ever served in every branch? Maybe someone has served in all of those and the Coast Guard too???


8 posted on 09/14/2005 6:39:58 PM PDT by MadManDan
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To: SandRat

I think thats called a grand slam.


9 posted on 09/14/2005 6:45:13 PM PDT by 359Henrie
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To: Servant of the 9

No we don't discriminate against our brothers.


10 posted on 09/14/2005 6:45:24 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: 359Henrie

Nah that's what you get at Denny's. Now let's see he still has the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines to do.


11 posted on 09/14/2005 6:48:14 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

If he does those two I guess its a touchdown. What the heck does he do for the extra point? FBI?


12 posted on 09/14/2005 6:53:24 PM PDT by 359Henrie
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To: 359Henrie

I Guess, maybe take Tubby Teddies Senate Seat from him.


13 posted on 09/14/2005 6:57:13 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

As a seabee, the heavy equipment operator nec will come in handy.


14 posted on 09/14/2005 6:59:36 PM PDT by 359Henrie
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To: SandRat
Image hosted by TinyPic.com
15 posted on 09/14/2005 7:14:47 PM PDT by Old Seadog (Birthdays start out being fun. But too many of them will kill you..)
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To: Old Seadog

what a great american!!!! god bless you!!!!


16 posted on 09/14/2005 7:19:49 PM PDT by fatteddy
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To: SandRat

I trained a Marine that was in all 4 branches. He was so sorry that he picked the Marine Corps last because they sent him to boot camp and removed all rank. The other branches did'nt. I spent time in the USMC and the Army but I dont tell many I was in the Army.


17 posted on 09/14/2005 7:20:38 PM PDT by chesty_puller (USMC 70-73 3MAF VN 70-71)
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To: chesty_puller

Got it right on his fourth try. Good for him.

Ken Daves (Retired USAF)


18 posted on 09/14/2005 7:51:56 PM PDT by ekwd
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To: CindyDawg
I guess being with the Seabees(ms?) was the best of both, huh?:')

I was in the Seabees, served with a guy who had been Army, 101st in Vietnam. He sure got some looks with jump wings, 4 rows of ribbons topped by a Bronze Star, E-3 stripes and 2 good conduct stripes on his crackerjacks.

19 posted on 09/14/2005 8:09:47 PM PDT by cryptical
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To: SandRat

Man! Talk about LOWERING expectations! From the MARINES to the air farce? Slumming!


20 posted on 09/14/2005 8:29:24 PM PDT by hombre_sincero (www.sigmaitsys.com)
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To: 359Henrie

Jason Bourne.


21 posted on 09/14/2005 8:40:41 PM PDT by Cobra64
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To: Cobra64

That it. LOL.


22 posted on 09/14/2005 8:47:27 PM PDT by 359Henrie
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To: svxdave
Well, he started with the hardest service and ended up with the easiest

If he'd gotten that aerial gunner slot he wanted, it wouldn't have been so easy. It doesn't sound like he ever picked the easy way.

23 posted on 09/14/2005 8:48:55 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: hombre_sincero
Maybe he just wanted to see how the "Genteel Knob Hillers" lived.
24 posted on 09/14/2005 10:06:09 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

BTT


25 posted on 09/15/2005 3:08:13 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: hombre_sincero

Didn't realize the AF had an affirmative action program. LOL

Good for him and thanks for ALL of his service.


26 posted on 09/17/2005 6:40:23 AM PDT by sargunner
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To: SandRat

Man! These zoomies are getting thick skinned lately! That jab should have brought out most of them crying "Unfair!"

hehehehe

Semper FI!


27 posted on 09/17/2005 7:55:33 AM PDT by hombre_sincero (www.sigmaitsys.com)
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To: hombre_sincero

I was Army and always heard Marine Air was much preferred over Zoomie Air in a pinch. Alas another time and generation.


28 posted on 09/17/2005 9:07:02 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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