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Gulls to Honor Fallen Hero with Military Appreciation Day

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EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – The Long Island Gulls organization will be hosting Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, October 24 at the Twin Rinks at Eisenhower Park. The day will honor the memory of Smithtown, New York native Michael P. Murphy, who was tragically killed while on active duty near Asadabad, Afghanistan in 2005. While the focus of the day will be on Murphy, the day will feature many events to honor all those in the military, past and present.

The event is being held in conjunction with Long Island’s Eastern Hockey League counterpart, the New York Bobcats. Beginning at noon, six Gulls’ games are on the schedule, and the day closes with the Bobcats’ EHL game versus local rival, the New York Apple Core, which is scheduled for 5:15pm. While admission is free, a suggested donation is $5.00 is recommended, and all proceeds benefit the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation, who will be on-hand.

Murphy, born and raised on Long Island, was an active participant in youth hockey and graduated from Pennsylvania State University with honors and a dual degree in political science and psychology. He was then commissioned to the United States Navy in 2001 and became a Navy SEAL the following year.

Murphy took part in Operation Enduring Freedom and was on a message as part of Operation Red Wings, when he, and 18 other SEALs were killed. Murphy’s Navy SEAL team was the most decorated team in history and he was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor by the White House in 2007.

Murphy received 11 different military decorations and since his passing, has had a post office in his hometown, a park, and a guided missile destroyer named in his honor.

After the completion of each game on Saturday, players from the Gulls (along with opposing team members should they choose to do so) will take part in the ‘Murph Challenge’, a crossfit-style workout named after Murphy by the crossfit community. Murphy’s parents, Dan and Maureen, will be on hand, speaking throughout the day, and a special banner honoring Murphy will be unveiled. The New York Fire Department Pipe and Drum band will be on hand along with members of the Navy SEAL cadet color guard.

In addition to the on-ice ceremonies, New York State Hockey Players Support Our Troops will be on-hand, along with Team RWB.

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