Last week, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker delivered their highly-anticipated testimony to Congress on the situation in Iraq. But with the media and the nation focused on these tense hours in Washington, another story about an American SEAL in Iraq went largely unnoticed.
On Tuesday, President Bush posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor -- the nation's highest decoration for military valor -- to Petty Officer Second Class Michael A. Monsoor. A Navy SEAL who served in Ramadi in 2006, Monsoor surrendered his own life to save the members of his team. On Saint Michael's Day -- September 29, 2006 -- Michael, two fellow SEALs, and three Iraqi Army soldiers were positioned on a rooftop when a grenade bounced off his chest and landed nearby. Unlike his team, Michael could have escaped the blast. Instead and without hesitation, he dove on the grenade, absorbing the explosion and saving the lives of his friends. For his exceptional courage and tremendous personal sacrifice, Michael Monsoor became the fourth Medal of Honor recipient in the War on Terror.
But Petty Officer Monsoor was no stranger to heroism. In May 2006, he and another SEAL risked their lives under hostile fire to save a wounded teammate. Michael simultaneously returned fire with one hand, while helping to pull his injured comrade to safety with the other. For his actions, he would earn the Silver Star.
Sometimes it's easy for us to forget the individual acts of extraordinary bravery during these wars. But it's incredibly important that we take the time to remember them -- not as a way to politicize the war, but as a reminder of the amazing sacrifices being made every day by our troops on the battlefield and their families back home.
Michael Monsoor was a true American hero we can all be proud of. Please share his story with your family and friends, and remind them of the courageous and selfless men and women serving our country in the Armed Forces.