Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor of Garden Grove and members of his Delta Platoon, SEAL Team Three, were sent to Iraq in April 2006 and assigned to train Iraqi Army soldiers in Ramadi. Over the next five months, the mission found Monsoor, shown in the foreground here, and his platoon frequently engaged in combat with insurgent soldiers. On Sept. 29, 2006, Monsoor, three SEAL snipers and three Iraqi soliders took position on a rooftop during a firefight with four insurgents. A grenade was thrown that hit Monsoor in the chest before tumbling to the floor. Monsoor quickly jumped on the grenade, smothering it with his body before it exploded. He saved the lives of three of his comrades but not himself. He died 30 minutes later. He was only 25.
In Monsoor's honor, President Bush presented the Medal of Honor to Monsoor's parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Monsoor, on April 8, 2008. Six months later, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced a destroyer would be named Michael Monsoor. On Thursday, Feb. 19, he will be honored at home.
The eighth plaque to be placed in Walk of Honor Plaza in Santa Ana will be dedicated to Monsoor at 11 a.m. that day. The guest speaker at the OC Veterans Advisory Council/AMVETS Post 18-organized ceremony will be retired Marine Corps Lt. Col., Thomas A. Richards, a Navy Cross recipient and member of the California Veterans Board. Monsoor's parents will be in attendance.
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Walk of Honor Plaza is at 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd. If it wasn't hallowed grounds before, it is now.