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A True Saint and a Soldier Brings Inspiration

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; As the Saints move into the postseason sporting the NFC’s best W-L record, they have set a franchise record with 13 regular season victories. Late in the 2009 season, the “Unknown Whodat” has been one of the unique stories told ...

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Old 01-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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As the Saints move into the postseason sporting the NFC’s best W-L record, they have set a franchise record with 13 regular season victories. Late in the 2009 season, the “Unknown Whodat” has been one of the unique stories told during this record-setting season for the Saints. But not many know about another story (related to the outcome of the Saints @ Redskins game) that happened late in that game’s fourth quarter.

In a Black&Gold EXCLUSIVE interview with Larry & Bonnie Murphy, Saints fans will get a special perspective on a family who lost a service member in Iraq (in Nov 2004). And as many of us who have friends and loved ones who aren’t here in person to witness this great Saints’ season, the Murphy’s’ story is one of inspiration, passion, and love.

As a backdrop to this story, please view the following video clip (provided courtesy of New Orleans Times-Picayune).

Bonnie Murphy appears at about the 0:50 second mark:

Black&Gold: Larry and Bonnie, thank you very much for giving us the privilege of gaining a special perspective into your family.

Murphy Family: You’re welcome; we feel honored to get a chance to share.

Black&Gold: Like many Saints’ fans, I first heard about the Murphy family while watching Bonnie in that video segment on the Times Picayune website.

Murphy Family: (Bonnie gives an embarrassed laugh) Well, before we start, I want to clear something up from that video. I had been Christmas shopping all day, and I was out to get some Saints’ gear after they captured the NFC South title. I was tired, and I was a bit nervous while the camera was rolling. I know that I said something about “my son (Warren) praying to the gods for the Saints,” but believe me – I know there’s just one God almighty in heaven to pray to. When my daughter saw the segment on TV, she said: “Mom, you said Warren was to be ‘praying to the gods.’ You know better than that!” I told her that my mind was racing, and I was tired. But I told her: “Don’t worry, the good Lord knows what was in my heart, even though that wasn’t what came out of my mouth.”

Black&Gold: Bonnie, don’t worry about that. You did a good job, and we’re glad you shared that story with the WhoDat Nation. And we’re glad to be talking with you right now. How big of a Saints’ fan was Warren?

Murphy Family: Well, our family moved here from the Chicago area some years ago. We now live in Marrero, and we all became Saints’ fans right away. Warren was an avid Madden (computer game) gamer, even up to the time of his death in Iraq (in 2004). He was very good at it. But more than that, Warren was a good man, a good son and a good soldier.

Black&Gold: Your family has gotten a lot of support from friends and the church, haven’t you?

Murphy Family: Yes, we have. We serve as deacons in our church, and we received personal condolences from Archbishop Hannon, and that meant a lot to our family.

Black&Gold: If someone isn’t from New Orleans, they don’t know how big a rivalry exists amongst teams in the Catholic League. I’m a graduate of Brother Martin high school and from what I understand, your son was a graduate from one of my rival Catholic high school before entering the military, is that right?

Murphy Family: Yes, he went to Archbishop Shaw. And, yes… the rivalry today among all the Catholic high schools is very competitive. Once he graduated from high school, Warren joined the Louisiana Army National Guard (2156th Mobilized Battalion).

Black&Gold: What happened in the Saints vs. Redskins game that made you think of your son (Warren)?

Murphy Family: It was late in the 4th quarter, and the Redskins were up by 7 points. They were in a position to go up by 10 ponts (at about the 2-minute warning). Well, just before the Redskins tried the kick, I thought of Warren (and knew how he would have been pulling for the Saints), and I prayed for something special to happen for the Saints… and it did! They MISSED THE KICK. I got excited, but knew we still had to get a touchdown. Then, Brees threw that long pass to Meachem to tie the game! Even though the game wasn’t over, I knew that (somehow) the Saints would win!

Game highlights (courtesy, NFL.com):

Black&Gold: How hard has it been these past few years for the Murphy family?

Murphy Family: It’s been pretty rough… pretty rough. It was especially tough from late 2004 through all of 2005. The biggest blow was losing Warren in Iraq. His Bradley vehicle was destroyed when it ran over an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). After Warren was laid to rest, my mom passed away in Feb ’05. My aunt died in March of that year, followed by another close relative in June. Then, Katrina hit (in late Aug ’05), followed by Rita before the year was done. All of that one-right-after-another… was tough. In times like that, it’s your faith in God that carries you through.

Black&Gold: Many of us can say “amen” to that, for sure. So how have you carried on after all of that?

Murphy Family: We have gotten involved in a military family support group called “Fallen Heroes.” That group was especially kind to us, and they took a photo of Warren and had an oil painting made on a big portrait that now hangs in our home. We’ve noticed that we (as a nation) have forgotten so of our brave men & women who serve in the military… so quickly. So we are involved to help the support group pass the message of “being there” for others.

Black&Gold: What are you able to do for the families?

Murphy Family: When a military member is lost in the line of duty, there are a lot of questions. You won’t always have an answer, but you can be there. Maybe all you can do is listen to them, or embrace them. But because of our having lost our son, Warren, we want to be there for others. We wanted to make ourselves available. In fact, Warren’s unit deploys in January 2010.

Black&Gold: There are a lot of people who protest our nation’s mission overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you have any feelings one way or the other about that?

Murphy Family: The way we look at it, our son fought for their right to protest. We may not all agree with different things, but we’re all American. To take it a bit further, my husband (Larry) served proudly in the military (over 20 yrs) during the Vietnam era. There were times when he returned home and hippies in the airport would spit at the veterans in uniform. It was a hard road at times. But back then, and even now, we’re never ashamed to say that we support those who proudly wear the uniform.

Black&Gold: How would you like Warren to be remembered?

Murphy Family: As I mentioned earlier, he was a good son, and a good soldier. He may not have a lot of recognition elsewhere, but to our family he’s our hero… he’s our Saint!

Black&Gold: Mr. & Mrs. Murphy (Larry & Bonnie), we are deeply appreciative of your providing this heartfelt and unique insight into your family’s journey. The WhoDat Nation is very proud indeed to call you a member of the Black and Gold family. All the best to the Murphy family in the future. And let’s go on (hopefully) to capture the Lombardi trophy in Miami in February 2010.

Murphy Family: You’re welcome; you know we’ll be pulling for the Saints!

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Last edited by Stealthman; 01-30-2010 at 10:38 PM..
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #2
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Re: A True Saint and a Soldier Brings Inspiration

Another awesome exclusive article from Stealthman! Thanks Man!
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: A True Saint and a Soldier Brings Inspiration

Most excellent, I am sorry for thier loss(es) I cannot even imagine how bad it was & is for them!!
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:03 AM   #4
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Re: A True Saint and a Soldier Brings Inspiration

On the eve of The Cardinals game, this is a true inspiration for me. And how about re-signing Dulymus Jenod "Deuce" McAllister for the playoffs. Now that is what this crazy Who Dat organization is all about. If seeing Deuce on the field doesn't motivate this team then ??
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: A True Saint and a Soldier Brings Inspiration

Bump... for those who missed it.

The Murphys are a remarkable family that we should all be proud of!
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:17 AM   #6
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Re: A True Saint and a Soldier Brings Inspiration

Great article. What an inspiring story from a wonderful family!
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bill randall, bonnie murphy, larry murphy, new orleans saints, nfc south, nfl.com, unknown whodat

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