Friday, September 29, 2006

Navy Master-at Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor

Remember Our Heroes

Navy Master-at Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, 25, of Garden Grove, Calif.

Petty Officer Monsoor died Sept. 29 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ramadi, Iraq. Monsoor was a SEAL assigned to a West-Coast based command.

Garden Grove resident and SEAL dies in combat
Garden Grove resident Michael Monsoor was proud of his service and accomplishments, friends say.

The Orange County Register

GARDEN GROVE – Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor was supposed to come back home from Iraq in about two weeks, in time for Halloween, his favorite holiday.

Friends were planning a Halloween and "welcome home" bash for the 25-year-old Navy SEAL, said Patrick Barnes, one of Monsoor's best friends.

Monsoor died Friday while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ramadi, Iraq, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday. He was assigned to a West Coast-based command.

Barnes said his friend was an adventurer who enjoyed traveling in Europe while he was deployed in Italy and loved snowboarding, fast cars and motorcycles.

He was also "honest, straightforward and a great friend."

"He was selective about the friends he made," Barnes said, fighting back tears. "But when you became his friend, you became his brother."

A family member who answered the door at Monsoor's home in Garden Grove said the family was too distraught to comment.

Monsoor enlisted in the U.S. Navy in March 2001 and became a SEAL in January 2002, said Lt. Taylor Clark, a spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command.

Rear Admiral Joseph A. Maguire said in a statement that Monsoor "died conducting some of our military's most important missions."

"This sailor along with our two wounded teammates chose a life of significant meaning – to defend freedom and protect America and its allies from terrorism," he said.

"We hope that in time Michael's family is comforted in knowing that he died fighting for what he believed in and we will not forget his sacrifice."

Debbie Nelson, a neighbor and mother of one of Monsoor's friends, said Monsoor's was a "great boy, handsome and very polite."

"He was very proud of what he had achieved in the Navy," she said.

He grew up in Garden Grove, attended Dr. Walter C. Ralston Intermediate School and graduated from Garden Grove High School in 1999.

Monsoor was a strong, determined person who never gave up, his friend Danny Wright said.

"The first time he tried to become a SEAL, he didn't make it," he said.

Monsoor was crushed by his failure, Wright said.

"But he tried again and made it the second time," he said. "He was very proud of what he had accomplished."

Monsoor could be profound and serious at times and yet be funny around his friends, Barnes said.

"Last Halloween, he was one of the Super Mario Brothers," he said. "This year, we were supposed to dress up as sumo wrestlers."

Wright said Monsoor had sent him an e-mail two days before he died.

"He'd said he was proud of me," he recalled. "And he told me to continue pursuing my dreams. It was as if he was saying goodbye and wishing me luck with my life."

Monsoor is survived by his parents, two brothers, a sister, nieces and nephews. Services are pending.

Navy Master-at Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor was killed in action on 09/29/06.

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