WSU Honors Navy SEAL Who Gave His Life for Teammates

Sept. 6, 2007

Courtesy of Ms. Patricia O'Connor, Naval Special Warfare Deputy Public Affairs Officer

SAN DIEGO - Washington State University will honor Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor posthumously for his valorous and extraordinary sacrifice and service to his country in a ceremony prior to the kickoff of the football game Saturday between the Cougars and the San Diego State University Aztecs.

The award will be presented to the Monsoor family by WSU President Elson S. Floyd as part of Puget Sound Armed Forces Appreciation Day activities. The U. S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, will also perform. The Leap Frogs, the Navy's premier 15-man aerial demonstration team, performs at air shows and special events throughout the country in support of Navy recruiting goals.

The past two years, Washington State has presented an award to recognize a military member for achievements, contributions and/or sacrifices for his/her country.

'Washington State looks for an individual who is humble in his or her accomplishments; someone who has internal motivation, similar to the spirit of an athlete, who continues to strive for excellence while performing one's duty,' said Pete Isakson, WSU Associate Athletic Director for External Relations.

Monsoor died Sept. 29, 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq, when he risked his life to save his teammates by throwing himself onto a grenade tossed by an insurgent onto the rooftop of the SEALs' overwatch position. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star (with V) and the Purple Heart posthumously.

Monsoor earned the Silver Star for combat actions May 9, 2006, when he fought his way through heavy enemy fire to pull a wounded SEAL to safety. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions taken as the Task Unit Ramadi, Iraq Combat Advisor from April to September 2006. His leadership, guidance and decisive actions on the battlefield during 11 different combat operations saved the lives of his teammates, other Coalition Forces and Iraqi Army soldiers. He received the Purple Heart for wounds received in action Sept. 29, 2006.

U.S. Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Navy's special operations force. The SEALs take their name from the elements in which they operate - sea, air and land. In addition to being experts in special reconnaissance and direct action missions -- the key skill sets needed to combat terrorism - their unique stealth and clandestine methods of operation enable them to conduct multiple missions against enemy forces, ashore or afloat, that larger forces cannot approach undetected.

Media interested in covering this event should contact Ms. Patricia O'Connor, Naval Special Warfare Deputy Public Affairs Officer, as soon as possible in order to arrange for media passes from the WSU Media Relations Office. Ms. O'Connor can be reached at 619-961-7138 (cell) or 793-8146.

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