Editor's Note:This Fourth of July I thought it would be fitting to run an article that reflects the commitment and sacrifices that have been made not only by our forefathers and servicemen of centuries past, but also those made by our service men and women today. As you celebrate your Fourth of July - properly known as Independence Day - take a moment between burgers, dogs, BBQ and beer to remember why we enjoy the freedom we do. As you read the story below remember that it is only one true tale of heroism among many.
On April 8, 2008, Master at Arms, 2nd Class Michael Anthony Monsoor (4/5/81 to 09/29/06) , a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Ramadi (Anbar Province), Iraq saving the life of three fellow warriors. He gave his life to save his fellow SEALs on September 29, 2006. This was not his first trip into harm's way to save others. On May 9, 2006, only a month into his first deployment to Iraq, the 25-year-old Navy SEAL from Garden Grove CA., while under continuous insurgent gunfire ran to rescue an injured comrade, dragging to safety the wounded warrior. Monsoor was shot in the leg, earning a Silver Star for his courage.
Michael was the son of a United States Marine, George Monsoor and his wife Sally - born the third of four children. Michael had asthma as a child, and strengthened his lungs by racing his siblings in the family's swimming pool. He enlisted in the United States Navy in September 2001. He graduated from Class 250 of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 2004. He was later assigned to Delta Platoon, SEAL Team Three.
During SEAL Michael A. Monsoor's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, U.S Navy SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of twos, with the coffin moving up the center. As his coffin passed each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.
The slaps were audible from across the cemetery. By the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.
On March 31, 2008, the United States Department of Defense confirmed that Monsoor would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor from the President of the United States, George W. Bush, for his actions. Monsoor's parents, George and Sally Monsoor, received the medal on his behalf at an April 8, 2008 ceremony at the White House held by the president. Monsoor became the fourth American service member and second Navy SEAL - each killed in the line of duty - to receive the United States' highest military award for their role in the war on terrorism.
This should be front-page news everyday. Since some of the main stream media will not make this news, we at officer.com want to tell about who our warriors are!
"What is a warrior?" some ask. The definition was given to us by Heraclitus in 500 BC.
For every one hundred men you send us,
Ten should not even be here.
Eighty are nothing but targets.
Nine of them are real fighters;
We are lucky to have them, they the battle make.
Ah, but the one. One of them is a warrior.
And he will bring the others back.
We at officer.com salute not only the law enforcement officers who go into harm's way every shift of every day but our service men and women who take the fight to the terrorists and keep our land free. This old MP offers to them the blessings of Heaven to rest on those that serve, have served, their families and those who have given their all.