Five years ago today, Petty Officer Second Class Michael Anthony Monsoor chose to sacrifice his life to protect two of his comrades when they came under attack in Iraq.
Monsoor was serving as part of a sniper overwatch security position with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi Army soldiers in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. When an enemy fighter threw a grenade up onto the roof from an unseen location, Monsoor warned his comrades. Seeing that they could not reach safety in time, Monsoor threw himself onto the grenade to smother the explosion. He was mortally wounded and died approximately 30 minutes later.
For his heroism, Monsoor was recognized with the Medal of Honor.
Before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 2001, Monsoor played football at Garden Grove High School in Garden Grove, Calif. He was characterized as an incredible athlete who was dedicated to his friends. He enjoyed snowboarding, body boarding, spear fishing, motorcycle riding, and driving his Corvette.
Monsoor was deployed to Iraq in April 2006; he and his platoon came under attack in 75 percent of their missions. Just weeks after arriving, Monsoor rescued a SEAL who was shot in the leg. He shot cover fire and dragged his comrade to safety while enemy bullets kicked up the concrete at their feet.
In addition to his comrades in the armed forces, Monsoor left behind his parents, two brothers and a sister.
More than 6,000 other U.S. service members have died since the United States began its “war on terrorism” ten years ago. For all the heroism demonstrated by Monsoor and other soldiers like him, and all of the deaths of both soldiers and civilians, are Americans really safer today as a result?
America’s security forces were able to identify the culprits behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks almost immediately. The United States could have dusted itself off and brought the perpetrators to justice but our leaders in Washington D.C. decided not to do that. They invaded Afghanistan instead of inserting a surgical strike force to take out our enemies, and of course, blundered into Iraq.
Can anyone describe what American victory in Afghanistan would look like? Other than a safe and rapid departure for our troops, is there anything we want from Iraq or Afghanistan?
We shall win no hearts or minds by continuing to kill people in Iraq or Afghanistan. We will just create a new generation that has cause to hate America as we turn more of our own young men and women into dead heroes.
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