Whether or not one agrees with the war in Iraq, no one can dispute the courage and honor of the American citizen soldier/sailor/airman, the volunteers that serve our country and defend liberty and freedom around the world. The latest example of the selflessness that these men and women demonstrate comes from Michael Mansoor, a Navy SEAL who gave his life to save his comrades. When an Iraqi insurgent tossed a grenade into a position occupied by Mansoor and four others, Mansoor instinctively dove — on top of it:
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor had been near the only door to the rooftop structure Sept. 29 when the grenade hit him in the chest and bounced to the floor, said four SEALs who spoke to The Associated Press this week on condition of anonymity because their work requires their identities to remain secret.
“He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it,” said a 28-year-old lieutenant who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. “He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs’ lives, and we owe him.”
Monsoor, a 25-year-old gunner, was killed in the explosion in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. He was only the second SEAL to die in Iraq since the war began.
Two SEALs next to Monsoor were injured; another who was 10 to 15 feet from the blast was unhurt. The four had been working with Iraqi soldiers providing sniper security while U.S. and Iraqi forces conducted missions in the area.
CQ readers will recall that I have a friend in the SEALs, also named Mike, who has served in Iraq. I know the kind of character and quality that SEALs have, and I’m not surprised by Mansoor’s instinctive heroism. We should make sure that the rest of the country understands the kind of Americans we have on the front lines — brave, selfless people who want to make the world a better place.
Godspeed, Michael Mansoor. You have the thanks of a grateful nation, and we know you have just landed on a better shore. (via CQ reader Stoo)