The United States Department of Defense posthumously awarded Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor the Medal of Honor from then-President George W. Bush.
Michael was part of a sniper overwatch security position in eastern Ramadi, Iraq, with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers while forces were conducting missions in the area.
“Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy.” —Psalm 27:6
An insurgency fighter managed to throw a grenade into the overwatch position where it hit Michael in the chest before falling in front of him. He yelled, “Grenade!” and dropped on top of the device. Michael’s body shielded the others from the brunt of the blast and two other SEALs were only wounded.
A 28-year-old Lieutenant, who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day, said of Michael, “He never took his eye off the grenade. His only movement was down toward it. He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs’ lives, and we owe him.”
A writer for the Chicago Tribune summarized the tribute, “The men who were with Monsoor on the day he died said they could see the options flicker across his face: save himself or save the men he had long considered brothers. He chose them.”
During Michael’s burial ceremony in San Diego, as his coffin was being carried, every SEAL who attended removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down, embedding it into the wooden coffin. The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived graveside, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.
Our days of life write the legacy that we leave. Today—write well!
OUR SAVIOR, anytime I hear of the sacrifice of one human for others, I am reminded of Your great sacrifice that has inspired so many to also lay down their lives when the time came. May I live for You, while always being willing to die for others.