FOR THE BIG ACCOUNT
Retired Army Master Sgt. Luke Murphy will deliver the University of Troy’s Helen Keller Lecture at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 10 at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy campus.
Murphy was catastrophically injured by an improvised explosive device in 2006 during his second tour of duty in Iraq. The explosion resulted in the loss of his right leg above the knee and seriously injured his left leg. He would undergo 32 surgeries and extensive physical therapy in the years following his injury.
As part of his rehabilitation, Murphy began running marathons, traveling the world with the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans.
The conference, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the Claudia Crosby Theater inside Smith Hall on the Troy campus.
“On behalf of the Lecture Series Committee, we are delighted to host the 25th Helen Keller Lecture Series and welcome our keynote speaker, Staff Sgt. Luke Murphy, to campus,” said Judy Robertson, committee chair. “Helen Keller demonstrated a humble approach to overcoming challenges throughout her life and that same approach can be seen in Sgt. Murphy. Her story is sure to have a positive impact on all who attend.
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As a member of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., Murphy was injured shortly before completing his second tour of duty in Iraq. The explosion resulted in the loss of his right leg above the knee and seriously injured his left leg. He would undergo 32 surgeries and extensive physical therapy in the years following his injury.
Murphy received several honors, including the Purple Heart, and spent his final year as an active duty soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, retiring medically after 7½ years of service.
As part of his rehabilitation, Murphy began running marathons, traveling the world with the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans. He was also recruited to be part of the national campaign team for the Wounded Warrior Project. NCT members share their stories to bring awareness to the most recently injured service members while serving as an example of the successes that can be achieved after injury.
He has helped start philanthropies that allow injured soldiers and service members to enjoy the outdoors, including hunting and fishing, through arrangements that accommodate their unique disabilities, and he recently became a recipient of a fully accessible, mortgage-free home thanks to Home for Our Troops, an organization dedicated to building and donating nationwide specially adapted custom homes for seriously injured post-9/11 veterans.
After his injury, Murphy returned to college and earned a degree in political science with a minor in communications from Florida State University in 2011. He then earned his real estate license and became a partner in Southern Land Realty, specializing in large expanses. of surface area and agricultural land.
Murphy is a frequent keynote speaker and motivational speaker and has spoken to Fortune 500 companies, thousands at the Pentagon, and given college and university commencement addresses. His memoir, “Blasted by Adversity: The Making of a Wounded Warrior,” was published on Memorial Day in 2015 and received a Gold Medal from the Florida Authors & Publishers Association’s President’s Book Awards.
The Helen Keller Lecture Series, which began in 1995 under the vision of Dr. and Mrs. Jack Hawkins, Jr., was launched to bring attention and awareness to the challenges of people with physical limitations, especially those affecting sensory abilities.
Over the years, the conference has also provided an opportunity to showcase those who have dedicated their careers to meeting the needs of people with sensory disabilities and to celebrate the collaborative efforts and partnerships of the University of Troy and agencies. and individuals who serve these special people.
This year’s conference is sponsored by the Alabama Institute for Deaf & Blind, Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama State Department of Education, and the Helen Keller Foundation.