BOSTON (CBS) – A 22-year-old Brockton native was killed Friday in northern Syria and honored Saturday.
SPC Etienne Murphy was killed at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, his name was part of the ceremony at Boston’s Fallen Heroes Memorial.
Murphy was serving his first deployment as an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment out of Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia. He was driving a non-tactical vehicle when it rolled over, killing him.
His father Calvin, a former Boston firefighter, spoke about the events and he says his son’s heart was always in the right place.
“He was a God-fearing man, family man, dedicated to his two sons. He really, really enjoyed life and really tried to prepare for the future for his family,” the father said. “All of his decisions led him to where he was as a ranger.”
At the Saturday ceremony at the memorial, Master Sergeant Gregory Kelly told the crowd about Murphy’s sacrifice.
“I found out about eighteen hours ago that we lost another American soldier in Syria. His dad is a former Boston firefighter; his aunt is a Boston Police Officer. His name is Ranger Murphy,” Kelly said. “We will be there for his family.”
A friend who knew Murphy is shocked that Murphy was killed, but also remarked about the timing on Memorial Day.
“To see a familiar face and to see that face linked to a bad situation is always bad news to hear,” the former classmate said. “And nonetheless on Memorial Day weekend, a soldier defending our country getting killed on Memorial Day is bad to hear.”
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker gives thanks for those who served.
“Our debt to our fallen must extend past Memorial Day. It must encompass our daily lives,” Baker said.
Murphy was posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the U.S. Army.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports