Throwback Post: Who Exactly is Michael Monsoor?

So I was browsing through some old posts from the old site today.  Wow, was I all over the freakin place.  But I was young and not-as-educated in the blogging ways back then.  Not to say I’ve improved at all now, I still suck at it.  But I just hope that I don’t suck as much now.

Anyway, here’s part of a good post from back on June 20th of 2007.  While casually watching part of the RNC yesterday, I saw a tribute video about Michael Monsoor, so I thought this old post was kind of fitting.

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Here is an article from Jeff Emanuel.net:

Michael Monsoor of Garden Grove, California, felt the same call to serve his country that had led his father and brother into the Marine Corps. He was pulled in a different direction from his family members, though — he was drawn to the U.S. Navy, not out of a desire to serve in the fleet, but out of a burning ambition to serve as a Navy SEAL, one of America’s Special Operations elites.

Monsoor excelled at BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training and was assigned to SEAL Team Three, based at Coronado, California. In Iraq, as he fought alongside his teammates, he repeatedly demonstrated the bravery and heroism characteristic of America’s fighting men and women, and it was in Iraq, on September 29, 2006, that the 25-year-old hero gave his life to protect them.

A recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for his earlier actions in the War on Terror, Monsoor was awarded a Silver Star, the third-highest medal conferred upon members of the United States military, for his valor and selflessness while engaged in a firefight in Ramadi in May, when, according to the report, “he and another SEAL pulled a team member shot in the leg to safety while bullets pinged off the ground around them.” Only a few weeks later, Monsoor’s willingness to risk his life for his teammates was demonstrated to the utmost, as he made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of the men around him.

According to the Navy’s official narrative,

On 29 September, Monsoor was part of a sniper overwatch security position in eastern Ramadi, Iraq, with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers. …Ramadi had been a violent and intense area for a very strong and aggressive insurgency for some time. …An insurgency fighter…threw a fragment grenade into the overwatch position which hit Monsoor in the chest before falling in front of him. Monsoor yelled “Grenade!” and dropped on top of the grenade prior to it exploding. Monsoor’s body shielded the others from the brunt of the fragmentation blast and two other SEALs were only wounded by the remaining blast.

It is necessary to understand, in order to fully appreciate the magnitude of Monsoor’s sacrifice, that, due to the orientation of the room and the location of its lone exit, he was the only person who could have escaped. Doing so, though, would have meant abandoning the others in the room to grievous injury or, more likely, to death. Knowing both courses of action, and the consequences of each, he had to make a split-second decision.

Said Monsoor’s mother later, “We just knew that if Mike was put in a situation like he was, he wouldn’t hesitate.”

And he didn’t. According to the Associated Press, “One SEAL lieutenant…watched Monsoor shield him and others from exploding hot metal …when the grenade blew up their sniper position. ‘Mikey had the best chance of avoiding harm altogether,’ said the officer. ‘But he never took his eye off the grenade.’”

A mere two weeks away from redeploying home from Iraq himself, Monsoor gave up his life so that the men around him would have a chance to return to their families.

As was so eloquently and succinctly put by the Chicago Tribune’s Kristen Scharnberg shortly after the incident, in an article titled “Medals of Honor largely MIA among heroics of Iraq war”:

The men who were there that day say they could see the options flicker across Michael Monsoor’s face: save himself or save the men he had long considered brothers.

He chose them.

The decision was made in less than an instant, and those whose lives would have ended that day but for Monsoor’s action will carry a weighty gratitude for as long as they live. Three months after making the ultimate sacrifice, Mike Monsoor was nominated for a posthumous Medal of Honor, and, if there is any justice in this world, that request will be approved as quickly as possible.

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I still don’t have much to add personally to this article.  I am only a novice when it comes to talking about serious things like politics and the world and critical issues.  But with all the hooplah surrounding these upcoming elections, I find it amazing how many people have forgotten the soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for you and me.  Yeah sure, it’s been almost two years since Monsoor gave his life, but that shouldn’t make what he did any less courageous.  I think it’s also pretty pathetic how we have forgotten those who are still over there doing what they can to keep us safe.

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