JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - 26-year-old Joe Murray was among the 16 military members who died Monday, when a military transport plane crashed in Mississippi.
Terry Murray, Joe Murray's father, told First Coast News his son joined the Marines because he was a Christian and his purpose in life was to serve. He said children and family were the focus of Joe Murray's life.
Joe Murray was born in California and spent his early life growing up in Guantanamo Bay before he came to Jacksonville when he was 10 years old. He graduated from Sandalwood High School.
Joe Murray rose up the ranks three times, eventually becoming a Special Operations Marine. He was a father of four: He had three boys and one girl who ranged in age from one to five.
"He served in the Marine Corp for me and for you," Terry Murray said. "He wasn't in the Marine Corp for retirement or for pay or to go see the wonderful places in the country. He was there to serve others
Terry Murray said his son was a man of God and lived to do the right thing. Friends would often reach out to Joe Murray for help.
"He was a Christian man who lived to serve others, and truly lived that," he said. "He didn't have to say a word of that. It's why his fellow Marines turn to him because he was genuine. He didn't have to tell them he was a Christian, they knew it, just watching him."
Murray's father said he doesn't have any more details about the crash, aside from what's been widely reported.
There are no funeral arrangements planned yet, but a joint funeral is likely.
If you want to help, you can send donations to the family's church:
Atlantic Beach Assembly of God
680 Mayport Road
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233