Greater love hath no man than this. . .

Petty Officer Mike Monsoor, a Navy SEAL, who died in action in Iraq, is receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor. This is what he did:

Monsoor and a group of SEAL snipers took up position on a residential rooftop as part of an operation to push into a dangerous section of southern Ramadi. Four insurgents armed with AK-47 rifles came into view, and the SEAL snipers opened fire, killing one and wounding another. Loudspeakers from a mosque broadcast calls for insurgents to rally, and residents blocked off nearby roads with rocks.

Insurgents shot back at the SEAL position with automatic weapons from a moving vehicle and fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the building. The SEALs knew that more attacks were inevitable but continued their mission of protecting the troops clearing the area below, according to an official account.

Monsoor’s commander repositioned him in a small hidden location between two SEAL snipers on an outcropping of the roof, facing the most likely route of another insurgent attack. As Monsoor manned his gun, an insurgent lobbed up a hand grenade, which hit Monsoor in the chest and bounced onto the roof.

“Grenade!” Monsoor shouted. But the two snipers and another SEAL on the roof had no time to escape, as Monsoor was closest to the only exit. Monsoor dropped onto the grenade, smothering it with his body. It detonated, and Monsoor died about 30 minutes later from his wounds.

“He made an instantaneous decision to save our teammates. I immediately understood what happened, and tragically it made sense to me in keeping with the man I know, Mike Monsoor,” said Lt. Cmdr. Seth Stone, Monsoor’s platoon leader in Ramadi.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bror Erickson

    Unlike Nicholson Baker, this man knew the value of human life.

  • Bror Erickson

    Unlike Nicholson Baker, this man knew the value of human life.

  • Don S

    God bless his family, for raising such a heroic young man. Would that media outlets like the NYT spent 1/100 the ink telling the stories of American heroes like Mike Mansoor as they do the few who have not acted so honorably. America deserves to get to know its heroes.

    Stories like these would also make the kind of Iraq war movie that regular folks would actually go watch.

  • Don S

    God bless his family, for raising such a heroic young man. Would that media outlets like the NYT spent 1/100 the ink telling the stories of American heroes like Mike Mansoor as they do the few who have not acted so honorably. America deserves to get to know its heroes.

    Stories like these would also make the kind of Iraq war movie that regular folks would actually go watch.


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