LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) — A group of officers with the Lawrence Police Department (LPD) decided to honor fallen military members this Memorial Day by pushing each other’s limits on Monday.
Among members of the U.S. military and veterans there exists a special way to pay homage to those who have served: The “Murph” Challenge. This intense exercise was named after former Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.
Murphy’s death has not only been memorialized through this challenge but has also been accomplished through film. The 2014 movie “Lone Survivor” features Murphy’s story as his character was played by Taylor Kitsch.
The workout includes:
- A one mile run
- 100 pullups
- 200 pushups
- 300 squats
- Another one-mile run
Lt. Murphy reportedly did this workout often, according to Laura McCabe, Communications Manager with the LPD. After his death, the workout became a tradition among members of the military who are still active or veterans.
“That is the workout he used to do and apparently it’s a rough one,” McCabe said.
The three officers with the LPD who decided to undertake this legendary workout gathered at 5 a.m. and broke the exercises into sets, according to Officer Kelsey Pence who spoke with 27 News. The officers did 20 sets to complete the workout: Five pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats.
“My dad was in the special forces,” Pence said. “We just did it to honor fallen military and that’s just a common workout among service members because of the history behind it.”
Pence was joined by officers Dean Kemppainen and Daniel Gray. Kemppainen has been a member of the LPD for 10 years and has been deployed to Iraq while Gray has been an officer for two and a half years and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Altogether, they were able to complete the Murph Challenge in an hour.
“We are extremely proud of the dedication and determination our officers show on a daily basis but especially on days like today when they feel personally inspired to honor those who’ve lost their lives in service,” McCabe said. “It hits very close to home for many officers. What a perfect — and healthy — way to show their respect and gratitude.”