Author Literary Journalism

Julie’s Journal

How ‘Blasted’ Came to Be

BBA_CoverWhen Luke Murphy walked into the small conference room at his real estate office, I had this odd sense that I would be writing his story. I’d been told he was a wounded warrior, but he was dressed in khaki slacks, so there was no hint of his injury. And besides, I wrote about courageous men and women at sheriffs’ offices for nearly 20 years. It took a lot to impress me.

I quickly brushed off the feeling and got down to business. He and Rob Langford were starting a company to sell large tracts of land – farms, plantations, hunting retreats, that kind of property. They needed a website.  Yesterday.  And they wanted me to write the content. After a few questions, I turned to Luke and said, “I’ll need information for your bio. Can we make a phone appointment?”  Luke shrugged and replied, “Just Google me.”  I looked across the table at this 32-year-old who wasn’t even cracking a smile, and thought, Now that’s kind of a cocky answer. I’ve profiled Inc. 500 CEOs and governors, so I’ve seen a lot of confidence, I just didn’t expect it on this type of assignment. I smiled politely and figured I’d Google him to see what turned up.

Later in my office, I typed in the name.  There was Luke Murphy – in the top listing with links for everything from the Wounded Warrior Project to Time magazine.  There were videos of him in shorts with a mechanical right leg and scarred up left one, standing on the bow of his boat directing his chocolate Labrador Bella to jump in the water.  There were still photos of him snow skiing and receiving awards and medals, including a Purple Heart. I was getting more impressed by the minute.

I wrote the website bio and figured that’s the last I’ll hear from Luke Murphy. Until he emailed several months later and said he was getting a lot of requests to be a motivational speaker and needed a personal website.  When we met for coffee later that week, I said, “If you’re going to be a speaker, you need a book.”  Luke cocked his head to the side in a thoughtful kind of pose, and said, “Well, who would write that book?”

I’ll save the rest of that story for another time.  Until then, I urge you to read “Blasted by Adversity: the Making of a Wounded Warrior,” and meet Luke Murphy.  Let me assure you, guys like this only come around once in a lifetime.

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