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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Washington DC, August 18, 2010

U.S. Navy Corpsman Jason Deguzman Receives Prestigious Lt. Michael P. Murphy Scholarship Award at MOPH National Convention in Orlando

On August 14, 2010, Jason ”Gus” Deguzman of Santa Rosa, California received the prestigious Navy SEAL LT Michael P Murphy Scholarship Award during the annual National Convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), held this year in Orlando, Florida.  Deguzman was chosen from among hundreds of applicants across the nation and was accompanied to the ceremony by his mother, Cora Wade.  Deguzman, a former U.S. Navy Corpsman now completing a nursing degree at Santa Rosa Junior College, will use his scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree as a Physician’s Assistant.  In the meantime, he remains in the inactive Navy Reserve and hopes to return to active duty upon completion of his educational goals. 


L to R: National Commander Jim Sims, Daniel, Maureen and John Murphy, Cora Wade, Jason Deguzman


While on active duty in Iraq, he experienced numerous engagements including one week of events that would change his life forever.  On May 13, 2005, a bus full of Iraqi civilians hit a light armored military vehicle causing a mass casualty of more than 30 people including two Marines and one corpsman.  Deguzman assisted in treating every casualty. The actions from that day earned him his first of two Bronze Star Awards, but the week of events was only half way done for the brave young corpsman.  Three days later, a patrol vehicle in which he was riding struck an improvised explosive device (IED), wounding Deguzman and others in his vehicle.  “Gus” would move on from there to deploy on two more combat tours.  For his heroism and achievements, Deguzman received two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart Medal, the Combat Medic’s Badge, and advance promotion for his actions as a senior corpsman treating more than 26 Marine casualties.


Deguzman’s scholarship was presented by the Murphy family in the name of their son, U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, from Patchogue, NY.  Lt. Murphy was killed by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission, Operation Redwing, on June 28, 2005. Murphy lead a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover position to continue the fight until finally succumbing to his wounds. For his conspicuous bravery, Murphy was posthumously awarded the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.  He was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.  Operation Redwing is the most highly decorated small unit action in Naval History with the award of the Medal of Honor, 3 Navy Crosses, 1 Silver Star, 15 Bronze Stars and 20 Purple Hearts to the 20 men involved in the operation. His father, Daniel J. Murphy, is the National Judge Advocate of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and is himself a Purple Heart recipient.


The organization now known as the "Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) of the U.S.A. Inc.," was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America's military history. Most importantly, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  Through the VAVA program, MOPH volunteers provide assistance to hospitalized veterans at VA sites and State Veteran Homes.


For information contact:
National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535
Email: PublicRelations@Purpleheart.org
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