Basic Camp

Bravo Cadet creates strong future for his growing family through commitment to ROTC

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Bravo Company Cadet Ryan Murphy faces many challenges when he returns home including the arrival of his first son. Photo by Rebecca Thompson.

By Matthew Langston
Leader’s Training Course

In the weeks leading up to the Leader’s Training Course, Bravo Company Cadet Ryan Murphy was going to school full-time, working almost 70 hours a week as an accountant and taking care of his wife, who was seven months pregnant with their first child.

As he focused on readying himself for the rigorous training and setting up a successful future for his family, mother nature brought more stress to his life. A deadly tornado touched down in Moore, Okla., where they lived, destroying numerous houses surrounding their home.

While Murphy’s home wasn’t demolished, it wasn’t spared, either. It suffered enough damage, including having no power for an extended period of time, that it was considered inhabitable.

Despite concern for his wife and home, Murphy, a student at the University of Central Oklahoma, still decided to attend LTC this summer. His choice to come to Fort Knox was one on which both he and his wife, Andrea, would not waver.

“We were dead set on the fact that he was going to go no matter what,” Andrea said.

Joining the military is something Ryan had always considered. He played baseball at Central Oklahoma for a few years, but his athletic scholarship would not allow him to join ROTC. Although he could’ve returned to baseball for another season, he chose to join the ROTC team instead.

“I’d like to lead the best of the best in the military and be an inspiration and a leader to others,” Ryan said.

Having her husband away for an extended period of time, Andrea said it is difficult because she does not want him to miss anything, such as the appointments she must attend. Along with being pregnant, she is in the process of moving to a new home which the couple found June 18 — the day he left for LTC.

“It’s tough because she’s alone in this process right now,” Ryan said. “It would be nice to be there and be more support for her, but I’m doing the best I can.”

Knowing he is about to be a father has helped Ryan focus on a career path that will bring a stable future to his family. He said he understands the added responsibility, but that it will bring him and his wife closer, helping him grow as a person and a husband.

“It has definitely helped me mature in my mindset knowing that I’m going to be responsible for another human being,” Ryan said.

Although the tornado did not destroy their home, the couple is moving due to complications and damage with the house. With the amount of debris throughout the streets and the sight of homes being leveled just streets over, Andrea said she realized how close they came to experiencing something worse.

“We’re lucky that it didn’t wipe us out,” she said.

 Andrea said she hopes Ryan accomplishes as much as he can while at LTC, even going above and beyond what is expected, something she said Ryan is capable of. Although Ryan is excited and anticipating the arrival of his son, who the couple has already named Cruze, Andrea knows him being at the course will benefit their family in the future.

“I love what he’s doing, and he’s doing it all for us,” she said. “That’s really special to me.”

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