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Legion Post Commanders Mick Heinemann of Madrid, John Peterson of Elsie, Captain Pam Murphy, retired,and Acting County Commander Bernard Heinemann of Madrid salute as the American flags are retired Monday. They are joined by Methodist Pastor Lorri Kentner, who delivered the invocation and benediction at the Veteran’s Day program. 

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Capt. Pam Murphy, retired

Honoring, remembering our vets

“We gather now to honor all those who have paid the highest price any American can offer to the Nation; to honor those wounded; to the surviving families who lost a loved one and to remember those currently returned to civilian life and those still serving.”

That’s how highly decorated retired Navy Captain Pam Murphy paid homage Monday to America’s veterans and their families. 

She spoke to a full house in the Pritchett Gym Monday as people from throughout Perkins County gathered for a Veterans’ Day remembrance. 

Murphy, who is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists with Perkins County Health Services, comes from a family rich in military service. 

Of the 12 kids on her father’s side, all either joined the military or married into it. During Pearl Harbor, four uncles and an aunt were stationed there. Two were on the same ship—the USS Nevada, which took a heavy pounding from the Japanese attack. 

She had the honor of receiving her first naval commission and her promotion to captain from her uncle—Rear Admiral Frederick Johnson. 

As a female in Navy, she saw first hand the impact that women made, including the first women to command a naval station to the first women to command a ship to women assigned to a combat carrier. 

Every veteran understands the meaning of loyalty and shared sacrifice, she said. “Your time belonged to America. Your country came before all else.” 

Families pay a big price as well, moving from schools, jobs, family and friend to support their loved one’s military career. 

During one deployment, she missed every holiday, birthday, anniversary, school and sporting event. However, she has never regretted serving her country. 

As Americans gather each year to honor its veterans,  “our words can never do justice to the sacrifices made by our veterans; by those who returned and those who did not; by those who live today and those who live in our memories. We cannot repay that debt but we can repeat what was inscribed on medals for WWI—“a grateful Nation remembers,” she said in closing. 


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