Long Beach, California
April 5, 1981 – September 29, 2006
Michael A. Monsoor grew up in Garden Grove, California. He followed his father into the armed forces, joining the Navy. Further training led him to become a Navy SEAL. The Navy SEALs are a special operations branch of the Navy – standing for SE, Air, Land.
In April of 2006, Monsoor was sent to Iraq as part of SEAL Team Three. On May 9th, he risked his life by running into a street under heavy fire to rescue an injured soldier. He was later awarded the Silver Star for this.
On September 29th, Monsoor was on a rooftop with three other SEALs and a number of Iraqi soldiers. They had set up position to repel attacks from insurgents in the area. After some time, a grenade was thrown into their area. It hit Monsoor in the chest and bounced to the ground in front of him. Monsoor was the only one near the single exit point. Rather than saving himself, he yelled “grenade”, and jumped to the floor to cover the grenade with his body. It exploded, mortally wounding Monsoor. None of the others in the position were severely injured. They all credited Monsoor with saving their lives, while he lost his. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2008.