Major Ed Murphy came to the Division and the 82nd Signal Battalion as a first lieutenant and former cavalryman with 4/7 CAV in Korea. A prior-service enlisted infantryman, Ed graduated as a tanker from the University of South Carolina and then transitioned to the Signal Corps. He first served in Bravo Company, 82nd Signal, then as the Battalion Motor Officer and as S6 of 2-505 PIR. Ed was a stocky Irishman who took the mission seriously, without ever taking himself seriously. His first reaction whenever he received a word of a no-notice tasking or unexpected FRAGO was invariable, “What’s THIS madness!?” Ed could sort through the chaos quickly though, execute the troop leading procedures and have his paratroopers executing the latest mission as though they had rehearsed for weeks.
Ed brought that same sense of duty with him to Afghanistan. He had a beautiful young family, with his wife Barclay, and his children Eddie, Elly, and Luke. He loved them greatly but still volunteered while serving as the deputy J6 of the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), Bagram to work with elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade at their combat outposts. It was while serving in this role that Ed was in a helicopter crash in Ghazni, Afghanistan on 6 April 2005. Ed and 17 other troopers lost their lives.
Thoughts of Ed and the loss his family suffered can still inspire feelings of grief in those who knew him. But through those feelings, they can find comfort in the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, Union officer in the Civil War, and later a Justice on the Supreme Court. “Grief” Holmes wrote, “is not the end of all. Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death--of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring.” Those words remind of Ed right down to the letter. He lived with passion and joy and inspired it in others. He left a family that makes a great impact on the world around them, continuing to bring joy to all who know them. He left a legion of friends who count themselves lucky to have known him. He lives on in the minds of paratroopers with whom he served.