Updated on Sept. 9
The sounds of sirens blaring and horns honking from fire trucks and police cruisers could be heard around the Martha’s Vineyard Airport as members of the Sea Coast Defence Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution greeted Maj. Leesia Murray.
The welcome was a surprise to Murray, who came from Fort Bragg, N.C., and was accompanied by her sister Sherry Cummings. She thought the cavalcade of cars and trucks was for the former president. She soon realized the warm greeting was for her after getting off the plane and being met with hugs and handshakes from members of the Vineyard’s Daughters of the American Revolution.
Murray was injured during a tour in Afghanistan. While at Fort Bragg, Murray found out about the Vineyard’s Daughters of the American Revolution program from a fellow soldier.
Murray will enjoy a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip on the Island. For the past five years, the DAR has been bringing Wounded Warriors to the Island. Housing in Chilmark is supplied by one of the DAR members. Several businesses and community members, such as Linda Jean’s, Barn Bowl & Bistro, Seafood Shanty, Mansion House Health Club and Spa, Stop & Shop, and Reliable Market have donated gifts and services.
Murray enlisted in the U.S. Army as an equipment, records, and parts specialist in 1991. She served through the rank of sergeant first class E-7. In 2007, she received a direct selection to officer candidate school, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the transportation corps at Fort Benning, Ga. She holds a master’s degree in acquisitions and procurement management from Webster University.
Murray has a long list of awards and decorations she has earned throughout her service, such as the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (4 OLC), Army Achievement Meda l(4 OLC), Good Conduct Medal (5 OLC), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal (4), NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Overseas Service Ribbon (4), NATO Medal, Career Counselor Badge, and Order of Saint Barbara.
The grand welcoming was led by Doris Clark, vice regent of the Vineyard’s Daughters of the American Revolution.
Having never been to the Island before, Murray plans to tour the sights and said she may even make a short trip to Boston.
Murray is the fifth soldier the Vineyard’s Daughters of the American Revolution has brought to the Island. Last year, the group brought Col. Dinah F. Olagbegi for the weeklong trip.
Hard-pressed to find words, Murray said she was still in shock, and a little embarrassed. “I had no idea. This is so amazing,” she said.
For more information, Clark can be reached by phone at 774-563-8752 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated to include Clark’s contact. — Ed.