Heather Duggan met Michael Murphy one summer through mutual friends in 1996, at a summer carnival on Long Island. Heather, who grew up in Mount Sinai, graduated from high school that year. She told Murphy, then a college sophomore, that she planned to attend Penn State in the fall. Michael immediately replied that he was already there.
When she went to Penn State, she joined the gymnast team. She and Michael first became friends, but it was obvious to his friends that there was more to the relationship. “He was always in love with Heather,” said college buddy Craig Palmer. “From day one, he loved her.”
When Michael joined the Navy, Heather had already graduated and they were engaged. She moved to Hawaii to be near him during his training period.
Michael left for the Middle East, and sadly as we all know he was killed on a mission in Afghanistan in 2005. He and Heather were to have been married in November of that same year.
Heather became a counselor to middle school student at a school in Lower Manhattan. What she misses the most about Michael is the great friendship they had.
An estimated 400 friends and family of late Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy watched “Lone Survivor,” a movie about the Patchogue native, who died in 2005 during a military mission in the mountains of Afghanistan, and his fellow heroes.