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We wanted to share with you the heroic life story of Michael A. Monsoor, Petty Officer, US Navy Seal.  Michael lost his life in 2006 as part of combat operations.  His heroic action earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor Posthomously.
 
Found on Wikepedia, it is confirmed that Michael A. Monsoor is the first Arab American to earn the nations highest medal for bravery - the Congressional Medal of Honor.
 
 George and Sally Monsoor receive Michael Monsoor's Medal of Honor with George W. Bush.
George and Sally Monsoor receive Michael Monsoor's Medal of Honor with George W. Bush.
 
Michael A. Monsoor's Medal of Honor pictured with the Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident.
Michael A. Monsoor's Medal of Honor pictured with the Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident.
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Early life and military service

Michael was the third of four children born to a Christian Arab/American former Marine father and an American mother.[1] Afflicted with asthma as a child, Monsoor strengthened his lungs by racing his siblings in the family's swimming pool. Monsoor attended Garden Grove High School in Garden Grove, California. He played tight-end on the school's football team and graduated in 1999. His hobbies included snowboarding, body-boarding, spearfishing, motorcycle riding, and driving his Chevrolet Corvette.[2][3]

Monsoor joined the United States Navy in 2001 before the September 11 terrorist attacks. He graduated from Class 250 of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 2004. He was later assigned to Delta Platoon, SEAL Team Three.[2]

[edit] Iraq deployment

SEAL Team Three was sent to Ramadi, Iraq in 2006 and assigned to train and mentor Iraqi army troops. As a communicator and machine-gunner on patrols, Monsoor carried 100 pounds of gear in temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees. He took a lead position to protect the platoon from frontal assault. The team was involved in frequent engagements with insurgent fighters. Over the first five months of the deployment, the team reportedly killed 84 insurgents.[2]

During an engagement on May 9, 2006, Monsoor ran into a street while under continuous insurgent gunfire to rescue an injured comrade. Monsoor was awarded the Silver Star for this action.[2][4] He was also awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.[5]

[edit] Death in action

On September 29, 2006, the platoon engaged four insurgents in a firefight, killing one and injuring another. Anticipating further attacks, Monsoor and three SEAL snipers and three Iraqi soldiers took up a rooftop position. Civilians aiding the insurgents blocked off the streets, and a nearby mosque broadcast a message for people to fight against the Americans and the Iraqi soldiers. Monsoor was protecting his SEAL comrades, two of whom were 15 feet away. His position made him the only SEAL on the rooftop with quick access to an escape route.[2][6]

A grenade was thrown onto the rooftop by an insurgent in the street below. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest and fell onto the floor. Immediately, Monsoor fell onto and covered the grenade with his body, saving the lives of his three comrades. Monsoor was critically wounded and, although evacuated immediately, died 30 minutes later. Two SEALs next to him were injured by the blast but lived.[2]

[edit] Honored

George and Sally Monsoor receive Michael Monsoor's Medal of Honor with George W. Bush.

Michael A. Monsoor's Medal of Honor pictured with the Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident.

Monsoor was described as a "quiet professional" and a fun-loving guy by his teammates. He was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.[2]

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.[7] Monsoor's parents George and Sally Monsoor, received the medal on his behalf at an April 8 ceremony at the White House held by the president.[8] Monsoor became the fourth American servicemember and second Navy SEAL - each killed in the line of duty - to receive the United States' highest military award for the "war on terrorism.[2]"

[edit] Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

MASTER AT ARMS SECOND CLASS, SEA, AIR and LAND
MICHAEL A. MONSOOR
UNITED STATES NAVY

For service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006.As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element's position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy's initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor's chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.




 

 

 

 

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