By Robert Gearty
Published February 17, 2019
A World War II Purple Heart recipient who turned 100 says that age is only a number.
When he was about to be deployed with the U.S. Army’s 29th Infantry Division in Germany in 1944, Murphy placed a photo of the Virgin Mary in his helmet, the Gwinnett Daily Post reported.
His mother was a devout Catholic who had dedicated herself to Mary.
“(One night in battle), they were coming up against the enemy, he said, and it was a foggy night and they could not see,” his daughter, Regina Owens, told the paper. “But above on the hill was the enemy with machine guns. All of a sudden, all of his buddies went down, including my dad. His helmet came off, and he looked up, and the picture he saw in the helmet was the Blessed Mother. From that day forward, he was so devoted to her, always.”
His devotion hasn’t ever wavered.
“Whenever I had any problems, I prayed,” he told the paper. “I’m satisfied that I get to be 100.”
After the Army, Murphy was a New York City cop for 20 years and an upstate New York judge before moving to Georgia after his wife of 66 years died in 2008.
“Helping others (has kept me going),” Murphy said. “Anytime you can help someone, help them.”