NORFOLK, Va.— Michael Murray befriended his Norfolk neighbor about a year ago, and now he considers him a friend.
“The first day I got here, I saw him get out of the car; he had his Army hat on and I went over and spoke to him, and I actually call him 'Sgt. Major' most of the time.
Murray’s neighbor is a retired Army veteran. The two men bonded over their military experience.
Murray is a wounded warrior and Marines veteran who says he had a lot of time between the wound and the healing.
“In 2012, I was medevaced out of Afghanistan and I had two surgeries: One on my neck and one on my hip,” Murray explained. “Hip surgery left me... forced me to retire, and from 2012-2014, I went through multiple therapies and addiction issues with opioids, things like that… I lived alone, and being alone is not the way to do this."
As the pandemic forces many people into isolation, Murray he wanted to help prevent the loneliness he once experienced.
He recently created Liberty Organization for Veterans and Emergency Responders. The soon-to-be nonprofit aims to serve those who’ve served us all.
“I’ve been there; I’ve been in the trying times when you get depressed, there’s nothing to do. I think the more of these organizations that there are, the more that we get involved and help each other, the better off we are.”
Murry’s first project is very close to home and his heart. Just across the street from his house, Sgt. Major is dealing with a bit of a mess.
The longtime retired veteran doesn’t have the money to move a fallen tree in his yard that’s now leaning on his home after a bad storm.
“The soil just went out underneath it and it leaned over and we started to cut on it, and at this point you can see where it’s dropped down,” explained Murray.
He tried his best, but realize they need some professional help to get the large tree fully removed and off the house.
They’re hoping someone can donate their services to do some good. Murray can be reached through his website Liberty-OVE.com.
“He’s just a good man; he’s a good Christian. I see him; he worked hard all of his life and he needs help now, so I figured I’d reach out and try to help him,” said Murray.
Getting a fallen tree removed for a veteran is a small first step for Murray, but he hopes it’s just the beginning of long journey to serve his community once again.