Above and Beyond
Navy Petty Officer Second Class Michael A. Monsoor was a hero.
He grew up in Garden Grove, Calif., and overcame childhood asthma to enlist in the Navy. He fought his way through Navy SEAL training to earn his coveted "trident" in 2004. And he went on to serve with great distinction in combat as a SEAL team member, earning a Silver Star in May 2006.
Then, on Sept. 29, 2006, Monsoor sacrificed his life when his SEAL team encountered heavy enemy contact:
Due to expected enemy action, the officer in charge repositioned him with his automatic heavy machine gun in the direction of the enemy's most likely avenue of approach. He placed him in a small, confined sniper hide-sight between two SEAL snipers on an outcropping of the roof, which allowed the three SEALs maximum coverage of the area. He was located closest to the egress route out of the sniper hide-sight watching for enemy activity through a tactical periscope over the parapet wall. 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.
Within the military, we decorate our heroes (and Monsoor certainly is one) to reward their bravery and establish their example as one we might aspire to. Monsoor's actions deserve our admiration and awe.
I am deeply disturbed, however, by the White House's unfortunate decision to hold this ceremony on April 8, 2008 -- the same day as the Petraeus and Crocker testimony before Congress. The timing of this ceremony could not have been accidental. It was clearly a political maneuver; an attempt to leverage the personal valor of Petty Officer Monsoor for political gain. That is wrong. Petty Officer Monsoor's sacrifice and valor are worthy of their own day -- not one designed for maximum political advantage.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: --Blue Girl | April 9, 2008 12:23 PM
Posted by: RTR | April 9, 2008 1:18 PM
Posted by: Ray Kimball | April 9, 2008 1:20 PM
Posted by: JS85 | April 9, 2008 1:36 PM
Posted by: PBR Captain | April 9, 2008 2:26 PM
Posted by: Terry Burton | April 9, 2008 3:14 PM
Posted by: spenfree | April 9, 2008 3:48 PM
Posted by: seydlitz89 | April 9, 2008 4:44 PM
Posted by: seydlitz89 | April 9, 2008 5:17 PM
Posted by: jt007 | April 9, 2008 6:00 PM
Posted by: rangerjim | April 9, 2008 6:12 PM
Posted by: seydlitz89 | April 9, 2008 6:21 PM
Posted by: Publius | April 9, 2008 9:23 PM
Posted by: Windsailor | April 9, 2008 9:26 PM
Posted by: James McKeown | April 9, 2008 10:53 PM
Posted by: Neil C Reinhardt | April 9, 2008 11:04 PM
Posted by: Neil C Reinhardt | April 9, 2008 11:06 PM
Posted by: rangerjim | April 9, 2008 11:56 PM
Posted by: toby | April 10, 2008 5:14 AM
Posted by: fnord | April 10, 2008 6:23 AM
Posted by: Robert Bateman | April 10, 2008 6:25 AM
Posted by: Robineus | April 10, 2008 7:05 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 3:32 PM
Posted by: Take one for the Gipper! | April 11, 2008 12:00 AM
Posted by: FDChief | April 11, 2008 4:15 AM
Posted by: FDChief | April 11, 2008 4:17 AM
Posted by: E.S. SF Medic | April 11, 2008 4:57 PM
Posted by: jimelyyes | May 7, 2008 9:12 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.