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U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mario Murray joined the military in June 2005 to honor the death of his youngest brother, who was a U.S. Marine, and in keeping with the tradition of all men in the family serving in the military. Murray’s time in service included a tour in Korea, several changes of duty station in the United States, and a deployment to Afghanistan in April 2011. During his deployment, Murray traveled throughout southern Afghanistan to Kabul, Kandahar, Regional Command South and Regional Command North.
On May 3, 2011, Murray’s base was attacked with incoming mortars. While providing force protection, Murray was injured as he was trying to take cover. He was immediately treated at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan and was transferred to Landstuhl, Germany, ultimately landing at Fort Hood in Texas. Murray’s injuries include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); back, neck and left shoulder injuries; removal of his coccyx; little feeling in his left arm; headache syndrome; and loss of hearing. Murray had also acquired other injuries from rigorous training exercises, ultimately causing him to break his back.
He retired from the Army in March 2014 with multiple awards, including an Afghan Campaign medal with star, three Army Commendation medals and a NATO medal, among others.