In June 2005, Michael Murphy and his team of Navy SEALs were pinned down by Taliban forces in Afghanistan. During the fight, Murphy, who helped save a comrade's life, was killed along with 10 others.

Murphy's journey from Patchogue to an Afghan hillside begins on the next page.


This article is based on scores of interviews in the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with official records, military and media reports.

To flesh out the story of the four U.S. Navy SEALs who were sent to Afghanistan to track a reputed terror leader, reporter Martin C. Evans spoke with U.S. Navy officials, family members and military colleagues of the four men.

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He also spoke with Navy officials about SEAL training, and with other military officials about conditions in eastern Afghanistan where the four SEALs were sent on their mission.

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, reporter James Rupert spoke with experts on the fighting in Afghanistan, U.S. military officials, and the shepherd who rescued the lone survivor of a gun battle that took the lives of three of the SEALs.