Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor - American Hero

Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military tribute.

Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism on Sept. 29, 2006:

Monsoor was part of a sniper security team in Ramadi with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers, according to a Navy account. An insurgent fighter threw the grenade, which struck Monsoor in the chest before falling in front of him.

Monsoor then threw himself on the grenade, according to a SEAL who spoke to The Associated Press in 2006 on condition of anonymity because his work requires his identity to remain secret.

"He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it," said a 28-year-old lieutenant, who suffered shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. "He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives, and we owe him."

Two SEALs next to Monsoor were injured; another who was 10 feet to 15 feet from the blast was unhurt. Monsoor, from Garden Grove, Calif., was 25 at the time.

Monsoor, a platoon machine gunner, had received the Silver Star, the third-highest award for combat valor, for his actions pulling a wounded SEAL to safety during a May 9, 2006, firefight in Ramadi.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for his sacrifice in Ramadi.

Monsoor's heroism did not surprise Patrick Barnes, one of Monsoor's best friends;
That's just the kind of guy he was.

Monsoor's family will receive the medal during a White House ceremony April 8.

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