FORT BLISS, Texas — Soldiers eating at the Bamford Dining Facility on Christmas Day were awed by a display of “servant leadership” when Col. Ted Murphy, Fort Bliss Garrison commander, surprised the ranks by showing up to serve Christmas dinner unannounced.
“For the first time in three years, I thought I’d have him home for the holidays,” said Karen Murphy, Col. Murphy’s wife of 24 years. “Then as soon as I asked him to pick my mother up at El Paso International Airport, he suddenly had to be at work.”
Sources close to Murphy told Duffel Blog that he always leads by example and eats last, especially when his in-laws are in town.
“I can relate to the lonely soldier, stuck on post for the holidays because they have to pull a CQ shift or left the vehicle inspection sheet out of their packet and got their leave denied. I’ll be here until the last Soldier is fed, happy, and can go home knowing that their leadership cares about them, even if it keeps me here until long after my wife’s family is gone,” said Murphy, scrolling through his fantasy football scores in the latrine.
Mrs. Murphy has stated that although she was looking forward to a family Christmas together between deployments, extended training, last-minute TDYs, soldier emergencies, inventories, accountability formations, and lost boxes of grid squares, Murphy has missed 16 of the 24 Christmases they’ve been married for, and 100% of the Chirstmases they’ve hosted for Mrs. Murphy’s family.
“Col. Murphy is an inspiring leader,” said Spc. Trayon Collins, an armored vehicle crewman waiting out Christmas away from his wife and three kids. “I’m sure there are other places he’d rather be, but here he is, serving us ham and seeing if anyone wants to stick around to play some Madden. What a soldier’s soldier.”