HR’s Andrew Murphy, 19, ships out to Middle East

‘It was what he wanted to do’

With five children to parent, Hood River father Joe Murphy has grown accustomed to worry — but he is now facing a new stress brought by his son’s deployment to the Middle East.

“The worry is not explainable, it’s under the surface and it’s never off your mind — you do a lot of praying and really have to exercise your faith,” said Murphy.

On Sunday, Army Pvt. Andrew F. Murphy, 19, arrived in Kuwait to join his fellow infantry soldiers in the battle with Iraq. His father said the 2002 graduate of Hood River Valley High School followed an almost lifelong dream to join the armed forces. In that decision he was strongly supported by both his Hood River relatives and his mother’s family in Independence. In addition to his father, Andrew’s cheerleaders include mother Zoe Fidler, step-mother Lee Murphy, brother Patrick Murphy, 18, step-brothers Tanner Galvin, 21, Duncan Galvin, 16, and Willy Galvin, 18, and sisters Kaylen, 7, and Sherriden, 5.

“From the time he was about five years old, it was what he wanted to do, he always thought that everyone should be willing to give their time,” Joe said.

Although he is proud of his son’s willingness to serve his country, Joe admits that he would have been happy if Andrew had remained stationed in Hawaii and “rode out the war on a surfboard.”

That hope proved futile when the Murphy family was notified about two weeks ago that Andrew, who has airborne training, would be shipping out to the Middle East.

Although he is unsure about what his son’s new duties will be, Murphy said it will now be harder to watch media coverage of the war.

“Right up until he went there we were all over the TV and now I just need some peace,” Murphy said.

He believes that life continually opens up new learning opportunities and Andrew will return home as a more mature and directed man because of his military background.

“As parents we want to protect them but good and bad experiences make for a full life and that’s what it’s all about,” Murphy said.

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