Army Captain to Receive Medal of Honor

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By John McAdams via wideopenspaces.com

Captain Florent Groberg will be awarded the Medal of Honor for single-handedly attacking a suicide bomber while serving in Afghanistan in 2012. Though he was severely wounded in the process, his actions saved the lives of countless others. Groberg was serving as the officer in charge of the personal security detachment for the commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at the time of the incident for which he earned the Medal of Honor . . .

The brigade commander was on the way to a meeting with the governor of Kunar Province when Groberg identified a suspicious looking man stalking the group of American soldiers. The man was paralleling the patrol and walking backwards, which caught Groberg’s attention. When he confronted the man he quickly realized something was amiss:

I dropped my rifle … [and] I grabbed him by the chest and realized, at that point, ‘Oh, he’s got a suicide bomb on, he’s got a bomb. The only thing I could think of was, ‘I have to get him away. I have to get him away from the boss. I have to get him away from everybody.’

Groberg reacted immediately and pushed the man away, throwing him to the ground. Right after the man landed on the ground, his suicide vest detonated.

The blast threw Groberg 15 to 20 feet, caused significant damage to his left leg, ruptured his eardrum, and knocked him unconscious. The blast also took the lives of four others: Command Sergeant Major Kevin Griffin (the brigade’s senior enlisted soldier), Major Thomas Kennedy (the brigade’s fire support officer), Air Force Major Walter Gray (13th Air Support Operations Squadron), and Ragaei Abdelfattah (U.S. Agency for International Development).

His injuries from the blast were so severe that he had to endure more than 30 surgeries over the course of three years to repair the damage to his body. He will likely deal with the lingering effects of his wounds for the rest of his life.

I took an injury that cost about 45 to 50 percent of my calf, it made my leg below my knee numb, I can’t feel my toes, they tied all my ligaments together, fused my foot. I am lucky to be standing and be able to do this today because of the incredible care that I received at Walter Reed.

Captain Groberg is the tenth living member of the military to receive the the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. Seven more military members received the Medal of Honor posthumously for their actions in those Iraq and Afghanistan.

comments

  1. avatar Sock Monkey says:

    An incredible story, a real hero, but how is it gun-related?

    1. avatar vv ind says:

      Here we go…..

    2. avatar John says:

      It’s along these lines:

      Who do you want with you when things go south as they are sometimes wont do? Whose voice do you want guiding public opinion? A guy like Captain Groberg whose immediate reaction is to take on the bad guy, a guy like Ben Carson who recommends taking on the bag guy, or a pussy like Drew Magary ( check out http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/10/dean-weingarten/gq-no-self-defense-for-you/ ) who thinks the best course of action is to cower in the corner and hope you don’t die.

      I drool over a sexy gun review as much as the next guy. But, if the piss-yourself-as-an-effective-first-line-of-defense crowd wins the war for hearts and minds, then the only guns to review will be in a museum. Until they remove even those to protect our fragile sensitivities.

      Well done, Captain. You have earned my respect. I hope to never find out, but also hope I would react the same way.

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      When the moment comes, and I fear it may, that the Second Amendment’s might shifts from potential to kinetic energy, you’ll appreciate these men, their experience, expertise, and connection to the 2A. Or not.

    4. avatar Ralph says:

      Let’s face it — you don’t care if the post is gun-related or not. You’re complaining because it’s not Sock Monkey related.

    5. avatar Desert Ranger Tycho says:

      Seriously? OK. Douche-bag, let me spell this out.. he dropped his rifle but used the big brass balls attached to his gun to do something POS like you would never do.

  2. avatar Bill Kohnke says:

    Well earned Captain. I’m glad you survived. That alone is a miracle.

  3. avatar Joseph says:

    It’s related to our freedom, which is directly related to our right to keep and bear arms. That’s how it’s gun related in my opinion.

    1. avatar Professor Bangity says:

      When was the last time the United States Military fought for freedom?

      1. avatar jerry says:

        When was the last time you took your Olanzapine?

      2. avatar vv ind says:

        I fight for my freedoms, not overseas but here on US soil. Im actively involved in the fight for 2A freedoms. I hope you’re helping

      3. avatar schernobyl says:

        Most soldiers I know believe that they are fighting for freedom and the rights of the locals.

        I can’t guarantee that those are the reasons of the politicians who send them to these locations.

  4. avatar Mark Lee says:

    I think this is relevant “enough” to warrant a post here, given that it is such a rare occurrence and our soldiers have a direct connection with our 2A rationale. Never Forget the wounded soldiers and the war criminals who put them in harm’s way under false pretenses so we will never make the same mistake again.

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Thank you for your service, and your sacrifice, Captain Groberg.

    I pray that this nation is grateful enough to provide you with the best medical care, treatment and therapy available. We really need to improve on that, generally.

    We need more men like you, and fewer like the weenie who wrote about being a “modern man” in the New York Times last week.

  6. avatar BillC says:

    Listen everybody.

    This blog post will garner the attention of every troll asking 1) How this post is gun related; 2) Question something about freedom to instigate you; 3) Something about US Service Members are all jack-booted thugs for Uncle Sam to steal oil or something; or, 4) Why turn US Service Members into heroes because they all want to take your guns. They are not asking legitimate questions. they are trying to get you riled up, and it works.

    Do not engage, feed, or otherwise acknowledge them. Do not attempt to argue down to their level, they will beat you with experience.

    1. avatar Sock Monkey says:

      I don’t think that pointing out mission creep of this website is “trolling.”

      Once again, my congratulations to Capt. Groberg. Not bad for an officer! = )

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Mission creep? Well, there is one creep on the site today, and it isn’t the mission.

        1. avatar Sock Monkey says:

          I’m not the one insulting folk, and making absurd accusations. Have a pleasant afternoon.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      The trolls that believe all soldiers and all cops are jack booted thugs are just massively retarded. Insulting or threatening the 18 yo private because of the evil old farts in Washington, evil old farts that we all, without exception enable, makes no sense at all. It’s like being mad at the public school system and throwing rocks at the janitor.

      Morally corrupt cowards/trolls, who have done nothing to change the system will attempt to denigrate this man.

      After just a small amount of study on the subject of trolls I’ve found it’s a mental health issue. You know how we’re always saying it’s not the gun, it’s the mental health care system that lets these mass killers slip thru the cracks? Trolls are inflicted with some of the same mental health issues as our mass shooters.

      Does that mean every troll becomes a mass shooter? No. But it should be a concern for any dealing with these damaged goods.

  7. I guess this might have gone over better with the peanut gallery if they’d titled it as a Should Have Been A Defensive Gun Use.

  8. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Well-earned Captain. Just don’t expect much from the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but on behalf of a grateful nation, I salute your bravery.

  9. avatar Aaron says:

    I knew CPT (1LT at the time) Groberg during that deployment. Deployed with him and was working with a light infantry company just north of where he earned his medal. Same with PFC Ochart (He was an RTO with us before he went to fill a slot in that PSD detail). Both of them are good guys. It pretty much happened as its has been reported. Groberg earned his medal. there’s no doubt in my mind. We lost good Soldiers that day, but it could have been a lot worse thanks to Groberg. Congratulations brother.

  10. avatar Wray says:

    Thanks for posting.

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    Where is Chris Mintz’s metal? The army vet who confronted the Oregon shooter? He heard shots in the school and triggered the fire alarm and rushed to the door to brace it with the shooter on the other side. Even after he was shot 3 times, he tried to reason with the shooter before he was shot another three times. While everyone else was running and screaming like bleating sheep, he did what he could in the heat of the moment against odds which were not in his favor.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      If he wasn’t active duty it’s up to the US .gov to give him recognition. Contact your rep and get that started.

    2. avatar thx855 says:

      The difference is Chris Mintz begged for his life when he came off second best. Soup Nazi says, “No MOH for you!”

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    I hate reading stories like this, and of the other Medal of Honor winners. Their heroism and self-sacrifice always bring tears to my eyes. Congratulations, Captain.

  13. avatar Sgt Frank says:

    I hope your wounds heal well…….You are a hero and deserve the Medal of Honor…..some people on this site have no idea what it takes to respond in a crisis.

  14. avatar Hannibal says:

    Good post. I could dissect how it is related to guns in a few ways. The fact that you don’t need a gun to kill people, the fact that sometimes you need to be ready to defend yourself when a gun is not the best option, etc. But really, I don’t give a crap whether it has anything to do with guns, I’m just glad to see someone earn the MOH without it being presented to next of kin.

  15. avatar Philboyd Studge says:

    God Bless our troops.

  16. avatar thx855 says:

    I’d like a medal…mmm,nah, I stick with being able to feel my legs. More amazing is that he describes VA care as incredible, but he did sustain head trauma.

  17. avatar thx855 says:

    Imagine all the free stuff you can get with a MOH. I’d never take it off. You’d in the very least never have to buy a meal again. It’s almost like he won the lottery, cost of the ticket being blast trauma. I don’t know if you could get a free car, but I bet it’d swing the terms in your favor, maybe 0% financing. I’d print out my own except Shipley’d hunt my ass down. That seal be crazy.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I knew a guy with the MOH. He had a copy of the paper work framed in his office. He worked for the VA.

      All it cost him was his legs.

  18. avatar Accur81 says:

    Godspeed, sir.

  19. avatar Paul says:

    Well Done Captain, well done!

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