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Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor

March 12, 2009

A fallen hero

Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save a group of Navy SEALS.

During Mike Monsoor’s funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , SEAL’s were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two’s, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike’s coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

What a country we live in.

What a country we live in.

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 true hero.

This should be front-page news.

I am proud of our military. If you are proud too, please pass this on.
If not then rest assured that these fine men and women of our military will continue to serve and protect.

God Bless our Troops

34 Comments leave one →
  1. NHBill permalink
    March 12, 2009 1:57 pm

    The Bush pentagon banned the viewing of our war dead. While they disguised the true cost of war they also kept these types of inspirational stories from us. We have a right to know. They have a right to be known.

  2. John O'Keefe permalink
    March 12, 2009 2:40 pm

    As I was reading this I was afraid it was going to end up with that jerk Fred Phelps picketing the military funeral – what a relief it didn’t. This was a great story.

  3. Rhayader permalink
    March 12, 2009 2:42 pm

    My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Monsoor, and to those who served with him.

    No matter what you think of the war itself, people like this should be admired and honored for the sacrifices they make. Every member of our armed forces has my sincere wishes for a safe and quick return home, and I thank them for everything they have done.

    Since there is very little God will do about it (he must be too busy duking it out with Allah), I’ll ask the governments around the world to bless our troops by putting an end to the violence and death.

  4. DeniseSoxFan permalink
    March 12, 2009 7:23 pm

    I send my sympathy and condolences to those who love this hero. Curt, thank you for posting this story!

  5. RetiredMidn permalink
    March 12, 2009 9:49 pm

    NHBill, the Pentagon policy about photography of returning war dead was not a disguise; it tried to de-emphasize the more procedural aspects of the processing that, through necessity, displays less of the visible respect that is otherwise rendered. It is not unlike conventions for civilian deaths, even noteworthy ones, where non-ceremonial transportation of a body from hospital to morgue and morgue to funeral home is traditionally not recorded and published or aired. (Except maybe by the National Enquirer; is that the level of journalism you want to promote?)

    The policies are intended to shift the focus to the meticulous care the military takes to honor its dead, and de-emphasize the mundane logistical aspects. It’s all about respecting the dead, and their families, for their sacrifice. If you want to absorb the reality, visit Arlington National Cemetery. (I brought my father, a WWII veteran, there to visit the grave of a childhood friend a few years ago.) It is all on display, somberly, respectfully, gratefully, and publicly.

  6. Joe permalink
    March 12, 2009 11:38 pm

    Curt,

    It’s the Medal of Honor, not the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    Also Michael Monsoor was himself a SEAL, Team 3. Plus you don’t say “Navy SEALS”, or “Navy SEAL’s”, it’s “Navy SEALs”, with the “s” lowercase.

    It’s not a big deal, I’m not trying to be petty but out of respect that’s the right way to say it.

    To add to your post Michael Murphy was also awarded the Medal of Honor, he was also a Navy SEAL. http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Red_Wing.

    Also a Marine Corporal and an Army Specialist were posthumous awarded the Medal of Honor in Iraq for jumping on live grenades.

    It’s a real shame that they have Paris Hilton on the news every night, but these stories go untold.

  7. Brian permalink
    March 13, 2009 5:23 am

    A great story about a great hero. The tridents on the casket is a SEAL tradition. A very powerful tribute to a fallen comrade.

  8. SoxFan4life permalink
    March 13, 2009 10:37 am

    wait you mean to say this isnt front page news? its people like this who make this country what it is. God bless this man and his family.

  9. Cap'n Dunsel permalink
    March 13, 2009 3:04 pm

    Curt, as I’m sure you know, Petty Officer Monsoor’s act of heroism took place in 2006.

    It hardly went unnoticed at the time:

    His “local paper” (the LA Times) had this story:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2006/oct/08/local/me-monsoor8

    The AP had a story even sooner:
    http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,116817,00.html

    And others:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15258312/

    His MOH was awarded in April 2008, not without coverage of its own:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/31/AR2008033102330.html

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/09/nation/na-medal9

  10. Mike Jacobs permalink
    March 13, 2009 3:28 pm

    Curt,

    Great story! Have you seen “Taking Chance” on HBO yet. Its about Lance Corporal Chance Phelps who was another hero like Petty Officer Mike Monsoor. One of the most moving, inspiring movies I have ever seen.

    Sincerely,

    Mike Jacobs

  11. David permalink
    March 13, 2009 9:50 pm

    My prayers and condolences to his family. It truly is a real shame that all these young men and women are being lost so young with so much potential.

    It truly upsets me a lot to see this and realize that they have died and for what??? Just wish we never went to this dumb war and never lost all these brave soldiers. Thank you all for fighting for us, even if the battle makes no sense.

    thank you

  12. Memory Man permalink
    March 14, 2009 9:28 am

    We think we have it tough?? boohoo I had to get up at 5am today and worked 13 hours. How do we even have the right to complain about a tough day when heroes like this are literally dying to save each other and us? The biggest question of all is why do i have to find out about things like this from curt’s blog (no offense Curt) when it should be on the front page of every newspaper in the english speaking world. For that last few weeks I have been very scared with the direction of our country, but seeing this reminds of who we are and what we stand for and thats something President Obama cant take away from me. It also makes me sad that a hero like this if he was still alive he would have to salute President Obama, when president Obama is not worthy of a salute from this man or any other in our armed forces!!

  13. Chris Staley permalink
    March 15, 2009 1:56 am

    Curt, Thanks for taking the time to do this. What a great story!!!!!

  14. Brian permalink
    March 16, 2009 9:19 am

    Very moving. I served in the USMC during the VietNam War, but was stateside for two years. I have the greatest admiration and respect for all servicemen who put their lives in danger.

    I’d like to repeat the endorsement given (above) by Mike Jacobs re: the HBO movie “Taking Chance.” Beautiful film about the final journey home of a fallen Marine (through the eyes of his Marine Escort). Well worth seeing ……

  15. Tom permalink
    March 17, 2009 10:14 pm

    Curt,

    Great story!

    This has nothing to do with this story but why are you so full of yourself and how about you find something better to do then post a blog

  16. Tim permalink
    March 18, 2009 9:44 pm

    Curt,

    I just want to thank you to Petty Officer Monsoor and his family. Without great men like hin in our Military the U.S. would not be what it is today. So thank you Petty Officer Monsoor for everything you have done for our Country and your actions will never be forgotten. God Bless and my thoughts are with the Monsoor Family and Friends.

    To all that protect our Country BE SAFE

  17. Dave permalink
    March 18, 2009 10:53 pm

    “The policies are intended to shift the focus to the meticulous care the military takes to honor its dead, and de-emphasize the mundane logistical aspects. It’s all about respecting the dead, and their families, for their sacrifice.”

    I’m sorry RetiredMidn, but this is incorrect. The first President Bush put it into place in 1991. 2 years after he was embarrassed by joking around with reporters while there was a split screen showing coffins from Panama being returned.
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CEFDA113FF93BA15751C0A967958260

    I also don’t view it as a logistical aspect when a fallen soldier first sets back on American soil, and this is exactly why there is a repatriation ceremony held for each one, with an honor guard. This is very ceremonial and has been banned – I’m not sure exactly what you’re going for.
    I think it’s important, but moreso I believe it should be up to the families to decide, as it is at Arlington. Personally, I would hope that next of kin could opt into a repatriation ceremony similar to Canada’s Highway of Heroes.

  18. Huge Red Sox Fan permalink
    March 19, 2009 3:05 am

    How can you honestly claim to honor and respect men and women who serve and have sacrificed for our country while at the same time support Bush who wanted to hide the cost of war from the public and replace military jobs with private contractors? That’s like supporting animal rights while endorsing McDonald’s.

    Wake up!

  19. Patriot4lyf permalink
    March 19, 2009 8:33 am

    Thank you for putting this moving story on your blog.

    A great tribute to a man who sacrificed his life for his fellow soldiers and his country.

    God bless all men and women who fight to uphold the rights of every American, and stand up to help others in need.

  20. Cap'n Dunsel permalink
    March 19, 2009 2:24 pm

    Yes, Curt. Thank you for putting up a 3 year old story on your blog.

  21. ARNG SGT permalink
    March 24, 2009 9:00 am

    Curt –
    I’m not sure if you read the comments on your blog, especially ones that are from posts 2 weeks ago, but anyway. I wanted to thank you for posting this. Even if the story is from 2006, it’s important to always remember. If you don’t, they get forgotten. I wanted to say thank you for your support of the troops and our mission – it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you to the readers of this blog for being respectful – even when you voice opposition to the war in these comments, you still respect the person that gave his life for it and honor his sacrafice. As a life long die hard Sox fan and a very proud military member, if you make a trip to the sandbox in 2009 or 2010, I look forward to meeting you.

  22. Retired CW2 permalink
    March 24, 2009 10:56 am

    To those who serve, past, present, and future — THANK YOU for your sacrifice!

    Curt, thank you for taking the time to post this blog.

    To ALL those taking time to comment, thank you for exercising your freedom of speech. May we all benefit from examples of sacrifice and be able to make the daily sacrifices we need for love of God and others!

  23. March 24, 2009 11:54 am

    During my 26 years in the U.S. Navy I had the pleasure of calling two “meat eaters” friend.

    While stationed in San Diego there were many a Thursday evening that we’d meet at McP’s on Coronado Island to enjoy an adult beverage (or three) and a fine puro. They were each precisely the sort of person you wanted as a friend: loyal, trustworthy and outrageous.

    I am not the least bit surprised by the actions of Petty Officer Monsoor. For those of you who never wore the uniform of this great nation: I offer you my deepest sympathy as you cannot comprehend the invisible visceral bonds which connect us all. And, these bonds all the stronger in small groups of men who risk their lives, and share that risk gladly for something greater than themselves.

    Thank you Curt for highlighting the life and the sacrifice of Petty Officer Monsoor. Thank you.

  24. Alfred Any. permalink
    March 24, 2009 11:03 pm

    I have almost nothing to say other than id like to point out that Mike Mansoor was an Arab American.

  25. You're a Fraud permalink
    March 25, 2009 2:16 pm

    Trying to do something noble and you butcher it up.

  26. JohnC permalink
    March 30, 2009 11:38 am

    Thanks for posting this. The sacrifice made by peoiple in the service is taken largely for granted and many people have died. During vietnam mr brothers and cousins were serving in harms way. My brother was in a submarine with the seals. He did things that have been written about and things that no one knows. He risked his life and if I had lost my brother it would have been horrible. He did lose a friend who had thanksgiving dinner with us. It could have been my brother. No matter what your opinion on the wars we wage the sacrifice of someones life is an amazing thing.

    My brother was a star athlete, he came home, played his sports, taught me, and raisd his family. I wouldn’t be the same person without him.

  27. coughcool permalink
    March 31, 2009 8:24 am

    If we all take 5 minutes out of everyday to think about those still there, and those who gave their lives, maybe these people in the media and society would start to understand what we did. I spent 2 Christmases away from my wife and kid, saw more bodies than I ever wanted to in my life x100, and have nightmares every nite. The worst of it all doesn’t end when soldiers come home. THATS what we have to remember. Thank a veteran today. For the first few weeks I was home everyone was great. then… people forgot. God Bless.

    SSG Silfies US Army (ret)

  28. March 31, 2009 10:09 am

    This is a great tribute to a real American hero. May his soul rest and his life never be forgotten. This video was put together on behalf of Mike and I had to share it with anybody who cares. I salute Mike and everyone who has lost a loved on in battle.

    Frankie

  29. Jered permalink
    April 2, 2009 6:02 pm

    Joe,
    It is called the Congressional Medal of Honor, check out these websites:

    http://www.cmohs.org/
    http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3460/monsoor-michael-a.php

  30. Ron CWO4USNRET permalink
    May 11, 2009 7:01 pm

    Our young men and women should be considered heros. Their actions in today’s environment make the 30 years I served pale in comparison to what they endure. Those who dare to discount their achievements need to renounce their citizenship and find a new home.

  31. Patty permalink
    August 17, 2009 8:41 pm

    While I applaude the sentiment of the posting and agree with it’s content and believe that yes more stories like this need to be made public it saddens me that the writer couldn’t at least get all of his facts straight. If you google Us Navy Petty Office Michael Monsoors you will find many sites that furnish information about his life and loss in Irag. But here is the paragraph taken from the official navy site that gives his biography, photos and the official citation. Don’t’ know why Curt thought he was EOD but next time he should check his facts before posting. Also you should know that this happened in September of 2006 during Operation Iragi Freedom. He received the award posthumously in 2008.

    Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously in a ceremony at the White House April 8, 2008. He will receive the award for his actions in Ar Ramadi, Iraq on Sept. 29, 2006. On that day, Monsoor was part of a sniper overwatch security position with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi Army (IA) soldiers. An insurgent closed in and threw a fragmentation grenade into the overwatch position. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest before falling to the ground. Positioned next to the single exit, Monsoor was the only one who could have escaped harm. Instead, he dropped onto the grenade to shield the others from the blast. Monsoor died approximately 30 minutes later from wounds sustained from the blast. Because of Petty Officer Monsoor’s actions, he saved the lives of his 3 teammates and the IA soldiers. NOW THAT’S A HERO!

  32. September 13, 2009 11:18 pm

    I don’t know where you get President Bush hid stories like this from us. It is the main media who hides the details. Haven forbid if President Bush looks like a compassionate man. President Bush was the one that handed out the award for this brave soldier. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_A._Monsoor
    I thank God we have men and woman who serve our country. They are the true heroes! God Bless you Mike Monsoor!!

  33. Lucy permalink
    October 1, 2009 5:35 pm

    Having just read over most of these postings, one caught my attention: by Alfred Any, on 24 March 2009 at 2303…..pointing out Monsoor was “an Arab American.” No sir, Alfred Any, Monsoor was an American. The best of the best of us. No hyphens, no proper adjectives in the honorable title, “American.”

  34. November 2, 2009 7:37 pm

    I just want to say having served 10 years and still serving in the Navy Mike’s death and life are examples we who serve look up to. He served OUR country well, and it doesn’t matter if he is Arab, Indian, African, or Mexican, he was is and will always be an AMERICAN. I am proud to be serving OUR country and will uphold the freedom Mike gave his life for.

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