Awarded Congressional Medal Of Honor
by leosrule Posted on April 24, 2010 at 8:40 PM
April 5th, 1981 ~ September 29th, 2009
Mike Monsoor Was Awarded “The Congressional Medal Of Honor” Last Week,
For Giving His Life In Iraq , As He Jumped On, And Covered With His Body, A Live Hand Grenade,
Saving The Lives Of A Large Group Of Navy Seals That Was Passing By!
During Mike Monsoor’s Funeral,
At Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , In San Diego , California ..
The Six Pallbearers Removed The Rosewood Casket From The Hearse,
And Lined Up On Each Side Of Mike Monsoor’s Casket,
Were His Family Members, Friends, Fellow Sailors, And Well-wishers.
The Column Of People Continued From The Hearse, All The Way To The Grave Site.
What The Group Didn’t Know At The Time Was,
Every Navy Seal (45 To Be Exact)
That Mike Monsoor Saved That Day Was Scattered Through-Out The Column!
As The Pallbearers Carried The Rosewood Casket
Down The Column Of People To The Grave Side. The Column Would Collapse..
Which Formed A Group Of People That Followed Behind.
Every Time The Rosewood Casket Passed A Navy Seal,
He Would Remove His Gold Trident Pin From His Uniform,
And Slap It Down Hard,
Causing The Gold Trident Pin To Embed Itself
Into The Top Of The Wooden Casket!
Then The Navy Seal Would Step Back From The Column, And Salute!
Now For Those,
Who Don’t Know What A Trident Pin Is,
Here Is The Definition!
After One Completes The Basic Navy Seals Program Which Lasts For Three Weeks,
And Is Followed By Seal Qualification Training,
Which Is 15 More Weeks Of Training,
Necessary To Continue Improving Basic Skills And To Learn New Tactics And Techniques,
Required For An Assignment To A Navy Seal Platoon.
After successful completion,
Trainees Are Given Their Naval Enlisted Code,
And Are Awarded The Navy Seal Trident Pin..
With This Gold Pin They Are Now Officially Navy Seals!
It Was Said,
That You Could Hear Each Of The 45 Slaps From Across The Cemetery!
By The Time The Rosewood Casket Reached The Grave Site,
It Looked As Though It Had A Gold Inlay From The 45 Trident Pins That Lined The Top!
This Was A Fitting End To An Eternal Send-Off For A Warrior Hero!
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, 25, Garden Grove; Navy SEAL Killed in Combat in Ramadi
By David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
October 8, 2006
Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor told his family in Garden Grove before he went to Iraq that he knew the dangers of war but he believed in himself and others on his SEAL team, who were like brothers to him.
“He knew what he believed in and would stand by what he believed in. Of this, he couldn’t be corrupted,” said Monsoor’s younger brother, Joe.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, 25, was killed in combat Sept. 29 in Ramadi, Iraq, west of Baghdad. Not much is known of the circumstances surrounding his death, family members said.
Last week, family members spoke of his life and military duty, including his dedication to becoming a SEAL, a goal he achieved after initially dropping out of the training course.
He was expected to return in another week to see his family and watch his 21-year-old brother play in an upcoming football game at North Dakota’s Minot State University, where he is a junior and tight end.
Although they chatted on the telephone, the last time the brothers saw one another was during spring break. That was when they drove cross-country to the university and Michael spoke about the discipline it took to overcome pain during his first SEAL training, which he had to quit.
“Michael had a broken heel and he still had to pass more physical tests,” his brother said. “He was running hard in sand and the pain mounted, but he told himself, ‘Don’t pass out, I can’t pass out.’ But he couldn’t continue.
“He rang the bell,” his brother said, a signal that a trainee has quit the program.
Michael Monsoor stayed in the Navy and waited for another chance. He was assigned to Europe for two years, and when his mother, Sally, visited him in Italy, she said she found him focused, “working out, swimming and running,” so he could reenter the SEAL program.
For Monsoor, it was his chance to join one of the nation’s elite forces, she said, adding that when he finally graduated, it was her son’s and the family’s proudest moment.
The 25-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, Calif., is one of the most grueling training programs in the military, and the dropout rate exceeds 50%.
As one of the U.S. military’s most elite and secretive fighting units, the SEALs almost never reveal their missions to the public, even long after completion.
In August, when the Pentagon announced the death of Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Alan Lee, who was the first SEAL to die in the Iraq war, it was the first recognition that the SEALS are involved in the battle to wrest Ramadi from insurgent control.
The loss has shaken the proud Marine family — Michael’s father, George Monsoor, and older brother, Jim, 27, are both former Marines — which has sought solace in knowing that Michael did not die in vain.
Relatives, neighbors and friends have visited the family’s home and left flowers. Neighbors tacked yellow ribbons that read “Support our Troops” on trees and sign posts in recognition of Monsoor.
“He was friendly and would wave whenever he did the lawn outside,” said neighbor Patricia Stanton. “He was nice, very sweet and I know he was dedicated to the service.”
Monsoor enlisted in the Navy in March 2001 and graduated from SEAL training in March 2005, said Lt. Taylor Clark, a Navy spokesman.
Rear Adm. Joe Maguire, a SEAL and commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, issued a statement praising Monsoor, who died “conducting some of our military’s most important missions.”
“We hope that in time Michael’s family is comforted in knowing that he died fighting for what he believed in and we will not forget his sacrifice,” Maguire said.
Monsoor attended Garden Grove High School, where he played on the Argonaut football team as a tight end and graduated in 1999.
CORONADO, Calif. — A Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade Iraqi insurgents tossed into their sniper hideout, fellow members of the elite force said.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor had been near the only door to the rooftop structure Sept. 29 when the grenade hit him in the chest and bounced to the floor, said four SEALs who spoke to The Associated Press this week on condition of anonymity because their work requires their identities 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 sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. “He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs’ lives, and we owe him.”Monsoor, a 25-year-old gunner, was killed in the explosion in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. He was only the second SEAL to die in Iraq since the war began.
Two SEALs next to Monsoor were injured; another who was 10 to 15 feet from the blast was unhurt. The four had been working with Iraqi soldiers providing sniper security while U.S. and Iraqi forces conducted missions in the area.
In an interview at the SEALs’ West Coast headquarters in Coronado, four members of the special force remembered “Mikey” as a loyal friend and a quiet, dedicated professional.
“He was just a fun-loving guy,” said a 26-year-old petty officer 2nd class who went through the grueling 29-week SEAL training with Monsoor. “Always got something funny to say, always got a little mischievous look on his face.”
Other SEALS described the Garden Grove, Calif., native as a modest and humble man who drew strength from his family and his faith. His father and brother are former Marines, said a 31-year-old petty officer 2nd class.
Prior to his death, Monsoor had already demonstrated courage under fire. He has been posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions May 9 in Ramadi, when he and another SEAL pulled a team member shot in the leg to safety while bullets pinged off the ground around them.
Monsoor’s funeral was held Thursday at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. He has also been submitted for an award for his actions the day he died.
The first Navy SEAL to die in Iraq was Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee, 28, who was killed Aug. 2 in a firefight while on patrol against insurgents in Ramadi. Navy spokesman Lt. Taylor Clark said the low number of deaths among SEALs in Iraq is a testament to their training.
Sixteen SEALs have been killed in Afghanistan. Eleven of them died in June 2005 when a helicopter was shot down near the Pakistan border while ferrying reinforcements for troops pursuing al-Qaida militants.
There are about 2,300 of the elite fighters, based in Coronado and Little Creek, Va.
The Navy is trying to boost that number by 500 – a challenge considering more than 75 percent of candidates drop out of training, notorious for “Hell Week,” a five-day stint of continual drills by the ocean broken by only four hours sleep total. Monsoor made it through training on his second attempt.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights
Michael Monsoor, United States Navy
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.’”