A Hero

Yesterday, the parents of Navy Seal Michael Monsoor received the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor. Monsoor is only the third recipient of the honor during the Iraq war.

On Sept. 29, 2006, while on a rooftop in Ramadi, Monsoor had to think fast on his feet when a live hand grenade bounced off his chest. He made the decision to die for those near him, his comrades. He saved the lives of those around him. He jumped on top of the grenade. He was only 25 years old.

What a leader. Something tells me that the decision Monsoor carried out that day was made far in advance of that moment. He had, at some point, determined that he would put others before himself. I bet he had a pattern of doing so. You don’t fall on a grenade unless you have lived your life up to that point giving up your preferences and comforts for those of others.

The concept of servant leadership enters here. The ultimate Servant Leader was Jesus who came to “lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) We are told that in order to live a life of significance, we have to serve others. I don’t think we buy it, but we are aware of the principle.

Michael Monsoor got it. He will be remembered for his bravery. He was a true leader. I might forget his name in a few weeks but His friends on the roof that day won’t.

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