ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Howard Murphy has always had a passion for emergency medicine.
He started in EMS at age 15 in Anderson, but it was his two uncles who inspired him to do more with his services.
“Watching them go to drill and listen to their stories… I decided to join the South Carolina National Guard at age 17 and go into combat medicine,” Murphy told 7NEWS.
He then started college and transferred to Tennessee where he became a cadet.
There, Murphy received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in Armor and went into cavalry.
However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Murphy and his career.
“And it was all national guard until 2002,” he explained. “And this was after 11, September 2001. My civilian career at the time had me in northern Virginia. I was in the terrorism counteraction work on the civilian side.”
Murphy said there was a special unit that was created as an army reserve unit by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was the Defense Secretary at the time.
“And I was recruited into that unit, mainly because of my civilian experience and expertise,” Murphy said.
There, Murphy served on active duty.
“And that really got me from the armor cavalry and back into medical services later in my national guard career into a specialized weapons of mass destruction, terrorism counteraction consequence management unit in the reserves,” according to Murphy.
Additionally, he was mobilized and deployed multiple times throughout his 34-year career.
“I was actually called up to to be the liaison officer, chief planner, strategic planner for the U.S.’s efforts to support the United Nations and the organization for prohibition of chemical weapons to demilitarize Syria’s chemical weapons program,” Murphy said. “And we destroyed hundreds of tons of a priority one chemical agents and precursors at sea.”
In June 2019, Murphy eventually retired as a Colonel.
But of course, his story continues.
“I’ve really transitioned over the last dozen years off of the streets and into administration,” Murphy said.
Now he works as a part-time Command Officer with Anderson County EMS and the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division as a coordinator.
He still finds the time to be a professor at Anderson University teaching homeland security and emergency services.
“I really feel my my job is to share what I’ve learned, with my students and with others who who have that need,” Murphy shared. “And I want to put them on my shoulders, so they can achieve even greater things than I achieved.”
As his career focus has changed, Murphy said he’s grateful to his mentors and to be able to love what he does every day.
Howard Murphy, Thank You for Your Service.
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