By Charles Moncrief
The message of Michelle Simonsen’s November 13 article “WILL THE TRAGEDY IN FORT HOOD FINALLY SEND A S.O.S. (SAVE OUR SOLDIERS)?”
was eclipsed when investigators discovered that the shooting was a premeditated act of terror, rather than a military serviceman’s stress-related rampage. Michelle’s article deserves to be reread for its own merit. Since Memorial Day honors our fallen heroes, I wish first to honor the heroes from the Fort Hood shooting who deserve every bit the same recognition as those killed in any other form of combat.
Now I want to introduce you to Michael A. (“Mikey”) Monsoor, a man who gave his last full measure of devotion for his comrades in arms.
Navy Petty Officer and SEAL
PO2 (Petty Officer, Second Class)
MA2 (Master at Arms, Second Class)
Medal of Honor Recipient
April 5th, 1981 - September 29th, 2006
Petty Officer Second Class Michael Monsoor was stationed in 2006 at Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He had already earned the Silver Star when he and another Navy Seal rescued a wounded team member by pulling him through heavy gunfire to safety. On September 29 he was one of three Seals positioned strategically on a rooftop. A grenade, thrown from an unknown location, hit him in the chest. He was the only one of the three with an avenue of escape, but he made a different choice. He shouted “grenade” and wrapped his body around the device as it exploded. His heroism earned him the Medal of Honor.
Petty Officer Monsoor was buried at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego on October 12. Nearly every Navy Seal on the West Coast was present at his funeral, as of course were those he saved with his sacrifice. The six pallbearers removed his rosewood casket from the hearse and began their march down the path to his grave. Lining the path were the Navy Seals, bestowing the traditional honor as the casket passed. Each Seal, in turn, removed his official insignia, the gold Trident Pin, from his uniform and slapped it down hard, embedding the pin into the top of the wooden casket. Then the Seal would step back from the casket and salute. The video of Petty Officer Monsoor’s funeral is at this link:
This was a fitting end to an eternal send-off for a warrior hero.
Rest assured that the fine men and women of our military will continue to serve and protect your freedom!
God bless and keep our troops safe!
Grace and Peace,