Greater love hath no man…
Michael Monsoor, of Garden Grove, California, felt the same call to serve his country that had previously led his father and brother into the Marine Corps. However, he was pulled in a different direction than his family members had been: he was drawn to the United States 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 succeeded at BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training, and was assigned to SEAL Team 3, based at Coronado, CA. It was in Iraq, though, as he fought alongside his teammates, that he repeatedly demonstrated the bravery and heroism which are characteristic of America's fighting men and women, and it was in that same country, on September 29, 2006, that the 25-year-old gave his life to protect them.
A recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for his earlier actions in the War on Terror, Monsoor was recently awarded the 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."
Just three months ago, Monsoor's willingness to risk his life for his teammates was demonstrated to the utmost. According to the Navy's official narrative of events:
On 29 September, Monsoor was part of a sniper overwatch security position in eastern Ramadi, Iraq, with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers. They were providing overwatch security while joint and combined forces were conducting missions in the area. Ramadi had been a violent and intense area for a very strong and aggressive insurgency for some time. All morning long the overwatch position received harassment fire that had become a typical part of the day for the security team. Around midday, the exterior of the building was struck by a single rocket propelled grenade (RPG), but no injuries to any of the overwatch personnel were sustained. The overwatch couldn't tell where the RPG came from and didn't return fire.
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