Tomorrow, the President will posthumously award the Congressional Medal of Honor to the parents of Master-At-Arms, Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor of Garden Grove, CA, for exceptional bravery on 29 September 2006 at Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He is the second Navy SEAL to receive the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terrorism, the first in Iraq.
While vigilantly watching for enemy activity, an enemy fighter hurled a hand grenade onto the roof from an unseen location. The grenade hit him in the chest and bounced onto the deck. He immediately leapt to his feet and yelled “grenade” to alert his teammates of impending danger, but they could not evacuate the sniper hide-sight in time to escape harm. Without hesitation and showing no regard for his own life, he threw himself onto the grenade, smothering it to protect his teammates who were lying in close proximity. The grenade detonated as he came down on top of it, mortally wounding him.
Petty Officer Monsoor’s actions could not have been more selfless or clearly intentional. Of the three SEALs on that rooftop corner, he had the only avenue of escape away from the blast, and if he had so chosen, he could have easily escaped. Instead, Monsoor chose to protect his comrades by the sacrifice of his own life.
You can find this and more about him on the Navy's Medal of Honor page. There is a well-done photo slide show in tribute that shows the "ordinary" side of this extraordinary Sailor and warrior.
Petty Officer Monsoor, I do not have the words...I am humbled by and in awe of your selflessness, and more so, my heart and thoughts are with your family and teammates.
Rest in peace, shipmate.