posted by Joseph Gidjunis on January 8, 2016 Return to Photojournalism

Patrick Murphy’s Confirmation photo is “The Best New Thing In The World”

In December, JPG was honored to document Patrick Murphy’s confirmation as Undersecretary of the US Army. I first began talking to Patrick after he spoke at a Young Democrats of America conference, where I served as the Faith and Values Director for a few years. We quickly bonded over talking about faith and politics, and I respected the way Patrick talked about his Catholicism and progressive ideals. Over the years, I’ve kept up with him and his MSNBC show “Taking The Hill.” Patrick has accomplished a a great deal in his short political career including the sponsorship of legislation that repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and by becoming the first Iraqi war veteran to be elected to congress. Many Philadelphians remember Patrick as being a leader on the battlefield — as a third generation veteran — and in Congress. He also served as the face of last year’s tragic Amtrak train crash, broadcasting many reports from the scene as he was on the train while at crashed, and fortunately, wasn’t seriously hurt.

I wasn’t at all surprised when President Barack Obama nominated Patrick to be the next Undersecretary of the Army, and I asked him if we could document the confirmation hearing. Patrick gave me an enthusiastic yes, and I witnessed as lawmakers like John McCain asked Patrick questions about ISIS and Vladimir Putin. I’m glad I wasn’t asked those questions. Not easy being up there. Instead, I had some fun, and captured many faces and emotions that arise during any Senate Armed Services confirmation hearing. In the middle, one of the best things happened, that was featured on the Rachel Maddow Show. It’s a moment where Patrick’s son, Jack, plays games on his iPad while Patrick tackles some tough confirmation questions. Maddow featured the photograph in the “Best New Thing In The World Section” of her show. All I can say is that we were honored to be a part of such an incredible day, and that I feel safer knowing that Patrick is an integral part of the decision making process of our great nation. Thank you for having me there.

Please congratulate Undersecretary Murphy with me, and join other organizations such as Justice for Vets who are happy his confirmation was approved.

Best, Joe G.

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Photographers on this Shoot

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