RPCV Pat Murphy meets VP Biden in Baghdad

July 7th, 2009 by bobebill

from the Laconia Citizen, July 7, 2009


Man with Laconia parents gets to meet vice president during Iraq visit

A Laconia couple is beaming broadly after their son had his picture taken with Vice President Joe Biden during Biden’s visit last week to Iraq.

Warren Patrick Murphy, the son of Peg and Warren Murphy, oversees the U.S. State Department’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in Nineveh Province. He was recently summoned to Baghdad for a meeting with his fellow directors. Biden happened to be at the same venue and later agreed to have his photo taken with some of those attending the meeting.

“I am very proud,” said Warren Murphy, who is a former chairman of the Laconia Planning Board, of his son although he conceded that while his namesake may have voted for Biden last November, he did not.

Patrick Murphy, who will turn 46 later this year, is the eldest of Peg and Warren Murphys’ four children.

“His wanderlust started when he spent his junior year at college at the University of Nice, France, where he met a lot of foreign students from all over the world,” recalled Warren Murphy. “He was particularly intrigued with some African students and when he graduated from the University of Vermont he joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Cameroon.”

After three years in Africa, the younger Murphy returned to the U.S. and enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies where he earned a master’s degree. Murphy then took the State Department’s Foreign Service exam and passed, leading to postings in China, Guinea, Myanmar, Lesotho and now, Iraq where he oversees a staff of 80.

Murphy began his one-year posting in Iraq a couple of weeks ago. His wife, Kathleen, and their three young children, ages 11, 8 and 6, however, remained back home in Falls Church, Va.

Warren Murphy said he and his wife were “concerned, quite really,” about the dangers that their son faces in Iraq but “he reassured us that security was tight and his office is actually on a U.S. military base just outside Mosul.” The family stays in regular contact via “Skype,” the Internet-based telephone program.

“I’m proud of all of our kids and particularly proud right now of Pat,” who went overseas after graduating with distinction from the National War College, which only a handful of diplomats are invited to attend annually, the father noted.

“He loves that kind of work, he loves that kind of policy stuff, he’s really in his element,” Murphy said of his son’s mission in Iraq, which, so far, is going mostly well.

“He did mention the heat — he’s experienced temperatures up to 115 degrees already — and sandstorms. The sand goes everywhere.”

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