Veterans Day Chapel: “To Serve a Cause Greater Than Myself”
At Episcopal’s annual Veterans Day Chapel service, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Blake Murphey ’04 spoke of how he found his calling in the military and urged students to consider service to their country and community as they plan their careers and lives.
Such service is critically needed now, he said, with the world facing a host of challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic. “During trying times is when service to a greater purpose has the most meaning.”
Murphey has served in the Navy for almost a decade. He has been the deputy and head intelligence officer for Seal Team 10 and a special operations liaison to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. He is currently at the Pentagon and was recently selected for promotion to lieutenant commander.
Murphey told students that while at Episcopal and during his first years at Amherst College, he thought chiefly of a career in finance. “I wanted to make lots of money,” he said.
But after graduating college and joining a London finance firm, he found his life lacked a sense of purpose. “I finally started thinking for myself and not just pursuing what everybody else thought was the path to happiness,” he said. “What I discovered was a desire to serve a cause greater than myself and to give back to a country that I truly love.”
Murphey said his love of country has deepened during his years of service, particularly during his time overseas. “There are millions of people from all over the world who would literally risk their lives for the chance to call themselves American,” he said. “I know because I’ve met them. I’ve heard their stories, and I have shaken their hands.”
Murphey said Episcopal faculty demonstrated to him the impact of service to the greater good and urged students to find their own way to give back during this tumultuous time.
“The world needs people who will fight for our planet, who will spend their weekends at the soup kitchen, who will spend eight years studying to become a doctor and then volunteer for Doctors Without Borders,” he said. “And people who will teach our future generations.”