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MAY 16, 2016 MONDAY

Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy ’99 Praises Soldiers, Veterans at Military Law Symposium

Passion. Dedication. Perseverance.

These are the values the Honorable Patrick J. Murphy used to describe today’s soldiers and veterans at the Military Law Symposium held at the Commonwealth Law School.

“If you want to look at something good in America, look at the American soldier,” said Murphy, who currently serves as the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Army. “You look at the American soldier who is going out into harm’s way on our behalf. Look at the American soldier who believes in core values like duty, honor and country.”  

Murphy, a 1999 alumnus of Widener Law Commonwealth, spoke on a variety of topics during his keynote address at the Military Law Symposium, but the take-away message was one of pride and support for American servicemembers.

“The American veteran is a civil asset in our country,” Murphy said. “The American veteran is more likely to be employed than civilians. The American veteran is more likely to vote in any election, no matter their political persuasion. The American veteran is more likely to start a small business, and for that business to be successful. The American veteran is more likely to be the head of a Fortune 500 company and a C-suite executive. We have a lot to be proud of as veterans.”

Murphy joined the Army at the age of 19 because he felt the need to serve and make a difference. He volunteered for deployment after the events of September 11, 2001 and was deployed to both Bosnia and Baghdad, serving as a captain in the 82nd Airborne Division.


“We are America’s varsity team,” he said. “We are the ones that will put ourselves in harm’s way,” Murphy said in speaking about why he joined the US Army.


Murphy was the first veteran from the Iraq War to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District. After serving two terms from 2007 to 2011, he became a partner with the national law firm Fox Rothschild, LLP, serving as general counsel to small businesses, including several veteran owned businesses. He also served as an anchor on the former MSNBC show Taking the Hill.


Watch the keynote address.