|Elite Member Of SEAL Team Gave His Life For His Comrades|
San Diego- There is nothing nobler than to give your life to save the lives of your fellow soldiers. One such example will be noted in a special White House Medal of Honor ceremony for a brave Navy SEAL Team member.
The White House has announced that the highest military honor, the Medal of Honor will be awarded to Former Navy SEAL Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor. He will be awarded the medal posthumously April 8th, 2008.
His family at a ceremony at the White House will accept the award. “Because of his extraordinary act of heroism September 29th, 2006, Petty Officer Monsoor will receive the award for his bravery,” said White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. Secretary Perino addressed members of the media during the briefing for the press on Air Force One.
“Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself with his courage and heroic actions,” said Secretary Perino. Air Force One was enroute to Europe for the NATO Summit with various White House Officials aboard including President George Bush.
Monsoor was also recently awarded posthumously the Bronze Star for sacrificing his life during the Ramadi grenade incident.
Petty Officer Monsoor has received military honors before. He was awarded the Silver Star because of his brave actions May 9th, 2006. He performed with valor in combat when he pulled a fellow SEAL to safety after they were shot and wounded in a Ramadi firefight.
In the event that claimed his life, Navy Petty Officer Monsoor was assigned as part of an elite Navy security sniper team in Ramadi, along with three SEAL teammates and eight soldiers from Iraqi Security Forces. While on patrol, a live grenade was thrown toward the team by a suspected insurgent.
A Live Grenade Goes Off!
The grenade flew through the air, and hit Petty Officer Monsoor in the chest, and then it bounced around on the ground nearby. With no thought of his own personal safety, Monsoor dived on the grenade, covering it completely with his body just before it exploded, muffling the blast.
Sources close to SEAL operations spoke on conditions of anonymity due to the classified nature of operations, related how the actions of Petty Officer Monsoor saved the lives of his fellow SEAL team members.
“Monsoor didn’t hesitate, he never lost sight of it, he just dived on the grenade,” said a Navy lieutenant who served with Petty Officer Monsoor. The 28-year-old lieutenant reportedly suffered shrapnel wounds to both legs from the incident.
“Monsoor saved our lives, and the lives of other SEAL’s there that day. We owe him our lives,” said the unidentified Navy Lieutenant. Two members of the Navy SEAL team next to Monsoor suffered wounds from the blast, but survived, and another SEAL about 15 feet away came through the event with no injuries.
SEAL operations in Afghanistan have resulted in sixteen deaths in the last several years. In 2005 eleven SEAL members died when the helicopter they were riding in crashed after taking gunfire in Pakistan. The helicopter was carrying troop reinforcements in the search for militant Al Qaeda members.
Navy SEAL Operations!
Serving in the SEAL Special Operations Unit in the Navy is not something that just anyone can do. It is reserved for the elite of the elite. Members volunteer, and undergo severe and harsh training designed to weed out anything less than the top-level fighting Navy specialist.
Training is intense; nearly 75 percent of those who attempt to become Navy SEAL’s fail. The United States Navy is currently attempting to recruit an additional 500 Navy SEALS, which is a distinct challenge due to the heavy training attrition.
Navy SEAL training is characterized by Hell Week- a five day period of initial training featuring continual drills, with only about four hours of sleep in a four day period. It is during this first period of training that most people drop out.
Serving in the Navy on active duty there are currently about 2,300 elite SEAL members, stationed in Little Creek Virginia, and Coronado, California.
Some candidates to be members of the elite SEAL brotherhood don’t give up, and will attempt the harsh seal training a second time. Petty Officer Monsoor was one of these determined souls; he was admitted as a SEAL on his second attempt at SEAL Training.