It is life’s unpredictable events that reveal our character the most. When life pushes us against a wall and threatens to take everything from us, it is our response that tells the truth about our soul.
When life is easy, we can talk a big game about our values and virtues. It is in the hardness of life–suffering, trial, and difficulty–that lays bare our innermost self, tearing off the masks we wear in easy times to reveal our true face.
On Sept. 29, 2006, Petty Officer Second Class Michael A. Monsoor of Navy SEAL Team Three revealed his character and showed his true face.
In Ramadi, Iraq, at the height of violence between United States forces and the insurgency, and less than one week when he was slated to go home, a live grenade bounced off Michael’s chest.
It was thrown by insurgents onto his rooftop sniper position where he, three other SEALs, and eight Iraqi soldiers were providing overwatch security.
He was sitting closest to the staircase and a quick dive to the side would bring him to safety. Michael Monsoor, however, was not looking out for himself, but for his brothers next to him.
In one sudden and terrible moment, without time to deliberate, Michael Monsoor flew out of his chair so hard it crashed against the far side of the rooftop and dove upon the fragment grenade, taking its full force into his body and saving the lives of the men with him.
Shrapnel still hit two of his fellow SEALs, but both credit him with saving their lives.
One said, “He never took his eye off the grenade- his only movement was down toward it.”