Celebrating Our Veterans
November 16, 2009 - 6:12 AMIf Hollywood wants to tell a story about true American heroes, here's a story:
The film stars Tobey Maguire as a military man serving in Afghanistan. When he is presumed killed in action, his wife, played by Natalie Portman, has an affair with his brother, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Naturally, Maguire shows up at home with a tremendous case of post-traumatic disorder—which, if we are to judge from the trailer, causes him to fire weapons at random and physically abuse his wife.
“Brothers” follows hot on the heels of “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges and Ewan McGregor. That movie examined the vital issue of military training projects designed to cultivate psychic warriors. Naturally, this involves members of the military looking like morons.
It’s no wonder that the mainstream media has labeled the massacre at Fort Hood an outgrowth of PTSD rather than what it is: a terrorist attack by a fifth columnist within the American military. After all, it fits the profile that the left has for the military: nutty guys with guns who occasionally go postal.
The facts reflect something very different: Our military men and women are the finest our country has to offer and deserve our thanks and respect each waking moment.
If Hollywood wants to tell a story about true American heroes, here’s a story:
On Sept. 29, 2006, 25-year-old U.S. Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor was serving in Iraq. As a Navy SEAL, Monsoor was the toughest of the tough. Despite the fact that he was afflicted with asthma, Monsoor became a Master-at-Arms in the SEALs with expertise in underwater demolitions, parachute training and cold-weather combat. According to the Los Angeles Times, Monsoor often led patrols in 100-degree heat while carrying in excess of 100 pounds of gear. Over five months, his platoon killed at least 84 insurgents. In May, Monsoor saved a fellow wounded SEAL, dragging him from a firefight while returning fire one-handed.
But on this day, Sept. 29, Monsoor was stationed atop a building in Ramadi, Iraq, one of the hot spots for fighting terrorists. He was assigned to protect three Navy SEAL snipers. But one of the terrorists got a bead on the outfit and threw a grenade onto the roof. It bounced off Monsoor’s chest and fell to the ground. Despite the fact that Monsoor had a clear avenue of escape, he yelled, “Grenade!”, then quickly jumped on the grenade, sacrificing his life. By shielding two of his brothers in arms from the grenade with his chest, he saved their lives.
Monsoor’s actions eventually won him a posthumous Medal of Honor. President Bush broke into tears at the ceremony, even as he praised the fallen hero, stating: “One of the survivors puts it this way: ‘Mikey looked death in the face that day and said, ‘You cannot take my brothers. I will go in their stead.’”
That would be enough of a story. But the real story is what happened at Monsoor’s funeral, footage of which can be viewed at YouTube. Almost every Navy SEAL on the West Coast showed up. And as they filed past Monsoor’s coffin, each SEAL removed a gold trident, symbolizing membership in the SEAL brotherhood. And then each SEAL slapped his trident into the cherry wood of the coffin, as the echoes reverberated around the silent cemetery.
As President Bush described, “The procession went on nearly half an hour. And when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten.”
These are our men and women of the United States military. And these are the stories that we must tell about them. They are not victims of some cruel system, ground down into mental dust. They are volunteers for freedom. They stand between us and those who would plunge our nation into darkness.
Where is George Clooney when we need him? Where is Ewan McGregor? Where is Tobey Maguire? Apparently, they are too busy pillorying soldiers as would-be Maj. Nidal Hasans to remember who our soldiers really are: Michael Monsoors. Heroes. True brothers. And true protectors.