Patrick J. Murphy, 36, became the first Iraq war veteran to serve in the U.S. Congress when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2006. Since his election, Murphy has become a leader in the debate on Iraq and Afghanistan, and on military and veterans policy. In his first month in Congress, he introduced legislation calling for the responsible withdrawal of troops from Iraq in order to refocus on the fight in Afghanistan.
In July 2009, he became the House leader of a legislative effort to repeal the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, which prohibits gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. He is a forceful advocate in support of U.S. troops and veterans. He serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee for Intelligence.
Before his election to Congress, Murphy was an active duty military officer in the U.S. Army. Among other roles, he served as a prosecutor, and taught Constitutional law at West Point. After September 11, he volunteered to deploy and subsequently served tours of duty in Bosnia and Baghdad. While in Baghdad, he served as a Captain in the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division, and was awarded the Bronze Star for Service.
Patrick Murphy grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, the son of a Philadelphia police officer and a legal secretary. He holds a B.A. from Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and a law degree from Widener Law School.