After New York authorities announced the vandalism of a memorial to a fallen Navy SEAL, another well-known veteran of the elite force is speaking out against the act and getting involved in finding out who did it.
According to a Facebook post on Thursday from the Suffolk County Police Department, the stone monument at Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park in Lake Ronkonkoma was shattered and officials were seeking tips from the public.
“We encourage anyone who may have information to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS,” the post read. “A Crime Stoppers fast cash reward of $2,500 has been made available.”
Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who served with Murphy, instantly doubled that reward with a social media post of his own, taking a more subjective look at the crime in his caption of a photo showing the destroyed memorial.
“Only a coward would do this,” Luttrell wrote on Instagram.
“We are matching Crime Stoppers Reward to anyone who turns in the low life who did this. To donate towards repairs go to MurphFoundation.org.”
As Luttrell wrote in his war memoir “Lone Survivor,” he fought alongside Murphy and two other SEAL team members in Afghanistan during a June 2005 Operation Red Wings mission in the Kunar province.
They were soon heavily outnumbered and all four men were injured.
As the name of his book and a subsequent movie reflect, Luttrell was the only one who survived the ordeal.
In addition to the park near his hometown, Murphy has been honored in a number of ways since his death.
Each year on Memorial Day, participants engage in a demanding physical endurance test known as “The Murph.”
According to American Military News, those who complete the course, while wearing a 20-pound vest, will run a total of two miles and perform 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 air squats.
As Luttrell wrote in a post marking the occasion earlier this year, he believes those who finish the tough workout help keep the memories of Murphy and others alive.
Murphy’s father, Daniel, reacted to the recent vandalism, calling it “unfortunate that some devalue the service and sacrifice of our veterans and fallen heroes.”
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