KaagsMaGrad
g June 7, 2017

From the middle of this week through early next week, the Kaags are taking a little break to search for sunshine in South Carolina.  Don’t worry – you’re in good hands, and the regular schedule will carry on.  Included in the vacation planning is a little trip down memory lane, with a visit to Parris Island, where Chris attended USMC boot camp as a 17-year-old.  He hasn’t changed one bit!

Stay tuned…

Day before graduation 1994

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g June 6, 2017

Honoring those who sacrificed their lives 73 years ago today.

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Above: American cemetery at Utah Beach, Normandy, France.  Below: Mulberries Remaining on the beaches of Normandy (G. Kaag, Jan 2004)

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g June 5, 2017

Summer break is upon us for the kids, and Corps Fitness has you covered!  Corps Fitness Kids Camp is BACK!

Long time CFer and Health and PhysEd teacher Mary Cochran will be leading our youth in two different sessions this summer.  Spread the word!  You do not have to be a CF member for your child to participate!

Register at the front desk.  More information is contained in the flyer below!

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g May 30, 2017

Reminder – Medical Supplies Collection and Workout!
THIS Saturday, June 3rd, we’ll be dedicating both workouts to the medical missions trip the Rauenzahn family will be taking later this summer.  We want to help them out by sending along much-needed medical supplies to be used while they are in Tanzania (see detailed list in previous post and at the front desk).
Also THIS SATURDAY, if you bring in a medical supply requested, your workout is FREE!  That’s right: Free!  And don’t worry, unlimited members, we have you covered as well.  We’ll be adding 15 loyalty points to your account if you bring in an item.
Thank you all for your support of this important trip!  Collection of all items will be taking place all week… Please consider donating what you can.  No donation is too small!

Free Intro
The next FREE INTRO will be Saturday June 3rd at 9:30 AM with Chris

Open Gym Times
Monday 10:30-11:45AM and 6:30-7:30PM
Tuesday 9:30-1:00PM
Wednesday 10:30-11:45AM and 6:30-7:30PM
Thursday 9:30AM-1:00PM and 6:30-7:30PM
Friday 10:30-11:45AM and 6:30-730PM
Saturday 10:30-11:30AM
Sunday 9:30-10:30AM

College Student Membership Rate
Welcome back to any college students who are home for the summer!  Be sure to take advantage of our student rate of $70 / month (unlimited membership).  Must present a valid school ID when purchasing.  Full time students only: 12+ credits / semester.

Hero Week
Save the date!  Hero Week Summer 2017 will be held June 25 – July 1!

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g May 27, 2017

Murphy was born on May 7, 1976 in Smithtown, New York to Irish American parents Maureen and Daniel Murphy, a former assistant Suffolk County district attorney and Vietnam veteran. He was raised in Patchogue. He attended Saxton Middle School, where he played youth soccer and pee-wee football, with his father as coach. In high school, he continued playing sports, and took a summer job as a lifeguard at the Brookhaven town beach in Lake Ronkonkoma. He returned to the job every summer throughout his college years.

Murphy was known to his friends as “Murph”, and he was known as “The Protector” in his high school years. In 8th grade, he protected a child with special needs who was being shoved into a locker by a group of boys, this was the only time the principal of the school had called his parents, they couldn’t have been prouder. He also protected a man who was homeless, who was being attacked while collecting cans. He chased away the attackers and helped the man pick up his cans.

In 1994, Murphy graduated from Patchogue-Medford High School and left home to attend The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). He graduated from Penn State in 1998, with a double major degree in political science and psychology. Murphy was engaged to be married with the ceremony scheduled for November 2005.

After graduating from Penn State, Murphy was accepted to several law schools, but decided to attend SEAL mentoring sessions at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. In September 2000, he accepted an appointment to the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. On December 13 of that year, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy and began Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, California in January 2001, eventually graduating with Class 236.

Upon graduation from BUD/S, he attended the United States Army Airborne School, SEAL Qualification Training and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) school. Murphy earned his SEAL Trident and checked on board SDV Team ONE (SDVT-1) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in July 2002. In October 2002, he deployed with Foxtrot Platoon to Jordan as the liaison officer for Exercise Early Victor. Following his tour with SDVT-1, Murphy was assigned to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) in Florida and deployed to Qatar in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning from Qatar, he was deployed to Djibouti to assist in the operational planning of future SDV missions.

(From online sources)

The Battle:

On June 28, 2005, Lt. Murphy was the officer-in-charge of a four-man SEAL element in support of Operation Red Wing tasked with finding key anti-coalition militia commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan. Shortly after inserting into the objective area, the SEALs were spotted by three goat herders who were initially detained and then released. It is believed the goat herders immediately reported the SEALs’ presence to Taliban fighters.

A fierce gun battle ensued on the steep face of the mountain between the SEALs and a much larger enemy force. Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.

Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire.  This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy.  While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point, he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in.  Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.

As a result of Murphy’s call, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter, with eight additional SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers aboard, was sent in as part of the QRF to extract the four embattled SEALs. As the Chinook drew nearer to the fight, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter, causing it to crash and killing all 16 men aboard.

On the ground and nearly out of ammunition, the four SEALs, continued to fight.  By the end of a two-hour gunfight that careened through the hills and over cliffs, Murphy, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz and Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson had fallen. An estimated 35 Taliban were also dead.  The fourth SEAL, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell, was blasted over a ridge by a rocket-propelled grenade and knocked unconscious. Though severely wounded, the fourth SEAL and sole survivor, Luttrell, was able to evade the enemy for nearly a day; after which local nationals came to his aide, carrying him to a nearby village where they kept him for three more days. Luttrell was rescued by U.S. Forces on July 2, 2005.

By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and inspirational devotion to his men in the face of certain death, Lt. Murphy was able to relay the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of Luttrell and the recovery of the remains of the three who were killed in the battle.

—Murph Foundation “Biography”