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  • Connecting Vets

    Military Appreciation Month profile: Dale Murray, for the love of radio

    By Laine Griffin,

    29 days ago

    Dale Murray joined the Navy as a TV and radio journalist with intent to not serve more than his three-year term, but life had different plans for him.

    Murray had originally planned on becoming a theater major but first wanted to travel the world, figuring that joining the military would be the perfect way to achieve that.

    Growing up in a small town in Texas, he assumed he would get stationed to an exciting base only to get sent to a Naval Air Station in Beeville, Texas, a town of less than 25,000 at the time.

    “Of all the places I could’ve been stationed to, and I end up there,” he joked. “But honestly, I also joined to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and all I had to do was three years and they would pay for four years of college.”

    By the time his term was up, he was ready to leave.

    “I’m like, ‘well that’s a wrap,’ and was on my way out the door when they asked me if I’d like to go to Hawaii,” he said.

    Next thing he knew, he was being stationed to Pearl Harbor.

    “It was like that for years,” he said. “I’d finish my time and then they’d offer to send me somewhere else I wanted to go and next thing I knew, I’m in the military for 20 years.”

    Murray got what he wanted, though. He saw the world and experienced things he never imagined.

    When out at sea, he said he grew to appreciate nature and the vastness of the world.

    “Seeing what I saw, it reminded me how minute you are in the grand scheme of things,” he said. “You see how insignificant man is compared to the rest of the world and you know there is a God when you look and see the skies on a clear night out at sea.”

    Murray traveled to every continent except for Australia, flew in the backseat of an A-4, served in Guantanamo Bay where he was part of a combat camera group that deployed with the Marines to rescue college students, and deployed with SEAL teams who went to do counter-terrorism training, amongst many other things.

    “Twenty years in the Navy was like 30 years in a civilian job,” he said. “It’s a very taxing job and hard on a family.”

    Spending as much time as he did in the military and on the water, though, brought him close to his comrades.

    “When you’re in the Navy and out at sea, you build close-knit friendships. These people become your family,” he said. “The stressful conditions of being out there seven days a week for months, it draws people together. You depend on each other. You survive together.”

    After years of continuing to re-enlist, Murray had plans to retire and end up in Washington D.C. to attend Howard University.

    “What do you think happened next?” He laughed. “They offered to send me to D.C.”

    He ended up re-enlisting after hearing about the Navy Broadcasting School in D.C.

    “I wanted to be a theater major, and then one day read something that said the Navy radio was the theater of the mind,” he said. “I agreed with that and ended up attending the Navy Broadcasting School.”

    As his time in the military continued, he worked part-time doing radio until eventually retiring from the Navy in 1997 after serving his last duty in Hampton Roads, Va.

    “I left because I did a lot of years. Twenty years was enough,” he said. “My time was up and I wanted to do radio full-time.”

    From there, he enrolled in the Mass Communication Program at Norfolk State University and worked as a radio personality and then program director at WNSB, which is the university’s radio station.

    Murray continued to work numerous different jobs in the commercial radio world before ending up with Audacy. He currently produces and anchors the news for “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” on 95.7 RNB and hosts WVKL’s late-night program “Smooth R&B After Dark with Dale Murray” in Norfolk, Va.

    “I‘m proud of the team I work alongside with Audacy,” he said. “I’ve worked at several radio stations and this is by far the best in every way.”

    Although he isn’t sure what his future holds or how much longer he will be in the business, he has enjoyed the journey that got him to where he is now and continues to go to work every day loving what he does.

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