Navy Master - at Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor died September 29, 2006 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. MA2 (SEAL) Monsoor 25, of Garden Grove, Calif.; assigned to a command on the West Coast; killed Sept. 29 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ramadi, Iraq.
U.S. Navy, Petty Officer 2nd Class Monsoor has been awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for diving onto a grenade to save his teammates in Ar Ramadi, Iraq on Sept. 29, 2006. Monsoor also received the Silver Star for his actions in May during the same deployment in 2006 when he exposed himself to heavy enemy fire to rescue and treat an injured teammate.
During the funeral, as the coffin was moving from the hearse to the grave site, Navy SEALs were lined up forming a column of twos on both sides of the pallbearers route, with the coffin moving up the center. As the coffin passed each SEAL, they slapped down the gold Trident each had removed from his own uniform and deeply embedded it into the wooden coffin. For nearly 30 minutes the slaps were audible from across the cemetery as nearly every SEAL on the West Coast repeated the act.
The display moved many attending the funeral, including President Bush, who spoke about the incident later during a speech stating: “The procession went on nearly half an hour, and when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten.”
His Medal of Honor Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element’s position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy’s initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor’s chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
President George W. Bush Presents the Medal of Honor:
For More Info on MA2 (SEAL) Michael Monsoor:
Michael Monsoor Memorial Video
Gary Sinise Narrates Michael Monsoor
Tribute Video of Michael A Monsoor’s life
Tribute Video of Michael A Monsoor While Deployed overseas
Sara Monsoor talks about her brother Michael Monsoor
Lt.CMDR Seth Stone & Sara Monsoor interview
Michael Monsoor Tribute Song
What MA2 (SEAL) Monsoor was:
MA2 (SEAL) Monsoor’s SEAL TEAM firefight while on patrol
MA2 Monsoor’s SEAL Platoon working with Marines
MA2 (SEAL) Monsoor’s SEAL TEAM 3 Task force in Iraq