This is the face of Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor, who died saving his comrades from a grenade while on patrol in Ramadi (full story). Monsoor is receiving a Medal of Honor posthumously for his vailiant efforts in giving his life so that others may life. His family will accept the medal in a ceremony on April 8 at the White House.
A good-looking guy, Monsoor could have done a lot of things with his life. In fact, at the critical moment in which the grenade hit his chest, Monsoor had a few options but he chose to throw himself on the weapon, absorbing much of the grenade’s impact. He “took a bullet” for his brothers, so to speak.
I hear people say 20 somethings are self-absorbed and apathetic. Clearly, they have never met Michael Monsoor, and sadly, they never will. But his story, I believe, is one that needs to be told. In an age where everyone cares what everyone else thinks and minor offenses cut to the heart, we can be pretty self-absorbed, but it’s not a disease that infests one age group, but all. Yet how many of us are willing to fall on a grenade for a friend or fellow soldier?
I wish without a shadow of a doubt I could say that I would use my body as a barrier to shield someone else’s. Being a Navy SEAL, I suppose Monsoor would have had a bit more confidence. Yet until that moment when the grenade hit his chest, his words were merely words. Then with a tuck and roll, Monsoor’s words echoed hauntingly true–he would give his life for his brothers.
If we only applaud Monsoor’s efforts and say to ourselves, “What a fine young man!”, then we are missing the point of Monsoor’s actions entirely. I doubt Monsoor had time to think about posthumous accolades in the split second he hung between life and death. He merely did what he thought was right acting out of his character and his heart. The point is this–do you have the courage to dive on that grenade to protect the reputation of a friend or to stand up for what is right even though it may be social suicide? While we may not all be on patrol in Ramadi or Afghanistan, there are grenades on which we are called to jump. Though not deadly, they are still painful, heart-breaking, and damaging. What will you choose when the grenade is lobbed in your direction?