Possible Article/Reporter

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To Whom it may Concern: My name is Sam Quinney, I wrote one article for the Villanovan two years ago. My journalism professor suggested that I submit this story to you on Patrick Murphy, which I will include at the end of this method. I am also interested in possibly working on some other storys this semester, and I was wondering who I should get in touch with. Thanks

Sam Quinney

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Patrick Murphy

Driving combat vehicles through a stretch of Baghdad known as “Ambush Alley” daily gave Patrick Murphy a perspective on the war in Iraq and the men that fought along side him. “We lost 19 guys, and I’ll never forget those guys.” Murphy says. But, as the prospective congressman from the 8th district explained to a class of Villanova journalism students, “that wasn’t the time to talk policy.” Now it is. The 31 year-old Philadelphia native, has returned home and is firing away at the administration he fought for. One of Murphy’s early stops in his young campaign was Prof. Yvonne Latty’s Monday night Journalism Practices class, where he explained his vision for the future of this country. Spurred on by combat experience that earned him a Bronze Star in Iraq, Murphy has made changing the US policy towards the war the key element of his campaign for the US House of Representatives. “This administration has been arrogant,” Murphy said of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war. For Murphy, President Bush ignored the advice of military experts and invaded Iraq with a force incapable of ensuring a stable Iraq. “We knew we could win the war,” Murphy said to the class. “But they didn’t have enough [troops] to win the peace.” Murphy contends that the US must come up with some sort of an exit strategy for Iraq, and must set firm deadlines for the training of Iraqi forces. Of the 1,000 Iraqi troops at level 1 combat certification, Murphy helped train about 600 of them. Murphy told the class that in order for any decrease in US troops, the Iraqis need to be more adequately equipped and need to be running their own through convoys through all the Ambush Alleys of Iraq. As one of the now over 1 million veterans of the Iraq war, Murphy is critical of the Bush administration’s decrease in veterans funding. “[We] shouldn’t be cutting veterans funding when we’re creating veterans” Murphy said. Murphy is also a veteran of the Bosnian peacekeeping mission and was the youngest professor at West Point in 50 years, where he taught constitutional law. He is presently an attorney at Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia. He has also worked on legislation in the Pennsylvania State Capitol, which Murphy cites as reason for voters to believe he will be able to make good on his campaign promises. Iraq aside, Murphy believes that the US military needs to become more like progressive body it once was by eliminating the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy. Throughout his career in the military, Murphy disagreed with the military’s policy on homosexuals and says that it scares off potential soldiers. “If we need soldiers to fight,” Murphy asks. “Why are we kicking them out?” Domestically, Murphy supports civil unions for homosexual couples, but does not advocate gay marriage. Murphy is also critical of the Office of Homeland Security, which he says needs to change its focus. “Checking old ladies at the airport is not the answer” He said. Murphy cites that the mishandling of the hurricane Katrina relief effort has shown terrorists that the US government cannot adequately respond to massive disasters. He says that the country can lessen the threat by both shoring up America’s ports, and by presenting a better image in the world. An image that Murphy hopes would dissuade young Muslims from succumbing to militant Islam. Murphy hopes to bring these national security issues to the doorstep of incumbent US Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick. As soon as Murphy announced his candidacy, Murphy says that Fitzpatrick scheduled a congressional visit to Iraq. Murphy says that the incumbent reported that troop moral was great. Murphy still receives many emails from his soldiers still in Iraq, who, he says, tell a very different story. “This is the biggest fight of my life” Murphy repeatedly told the budding journalists, but when he recalls leading his soldiers safely through Ambush Alley in Baghdad, he has no problem saying “I’ve already peaked.”