This week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guests, Mike Sarraille and Rey Baviera bring a gut-wrenching, firsthand account of their collective 35 years of military service as Navy SEALs – most notably witnessing the valor and heroism of fellow SEAL Michael A Monsoor, who willingly jumped on a grenade to save those around him. While the story is heart-wrenching, it is equally heart-warming to know the source of “Mikey’s” character and moral fabric. Michael A. Monsoor When US Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor sacrificed his life by throwing his body on a live grenade to save his comrades during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he inspired thousands around the world and reminded us that freedom is never free. On September 29, 2006, Michael Monsoor and three SEAL snipers watched vigilantly for enemy activity from their rooftop post in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. When a grenade thrown from insurgents bounced off Michael’s chest, he could have escaped. Instead, he threw himself onto the live grenade, shielding his fellow soldiers from the immediate explosion. Michael died thirty minutes later, having made the ultimate sacrifice. Defend Us in Battle is cowritten by Michael’s father George Monsoor, who is himself a Marine veteran, and Rose Rea. It also includes a foreword by Dr. Donald C. Winter, former Secretary of the Navy. Through interviews, military documents, and eyewitness accounts, the authors detail Michael’s remarkable military career and devotion to God and others. The book highlights how Michael prepared for this selfless act all his life—a life that will inspire readers to have a similar generosity of heart. Michael grew up a quiet boy in California, but his childhood of asthma and being bullied made him a staunch defender of justice and passionate about never quitting. It was because of that passion that he achieved his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL and saved numerous lives throughout his deployment. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Michael received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart for his years serving his country. But his greatest legacy is in the hearts of those he inspired to live, and even die, for the sake of brotherly love. “Michael Monsoor was an exemplary SEAL—a man of great integrity, a skilled warrior, and a loyal teammate. That loyalty led to his willingness to sacrifice his life for his teammates.” —Dr. Donald C. Winter (Secretary of the Navy, 2006–2009) Mike Sarraille During his 20-year military career, Mike Sarraille served as a Recon Marine, Scout-Sniper, and U.S. Navy SEAL Officer. Much of his career was in the Special Operations community, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command. He now works with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies on the principles of leadership, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and living a life of balance and purpose. Rey Baviera Rey Baviera served almost 15 years in the SEAL Teams, with multiple deployments and operations in violent urban environments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also worked as an intelligence and targeting officer at the Special Operations Command Pacific. He co-founded VTH Consulting, with the intent of bridging the gap between medical providers and veterans, helping veterans fight for the VA disability claims they morally, ethically, and legally deserve.
May the memory of Michael Monsoor never die.
Purchase the book honoring “Mike” – Defend Us in Battle, wherever books are sold: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0785290591/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_hrd_swatch_0&sr=&asin=0785290591&revisionId=&format=4&depth=1
In this episode you will hear:
- Not all Marines are equal, just like not all SEALS are equal. Performance comes into play.
- Rey: I had no direction, and I joined the military because I had made a promise to my brother.
- Mike: I’m standing in for Rose Ray who wrote the book Defend Us in Battle alongside George Monsoor, Mikey’s father.
- My second time in Ramadi, I fired my weapon for the first time.
- You don’t really know what you’re walking into until guys start getting wounded,.
- Shark base [one of the places we slept] was once of Saddam’s vacation palaces. We had tents in there.
- We had to take bottled water showers.
- Mikey spoke thru actions, not words.
- It’s highly competitive in the SEAL teams in a good way.
- With each mission, we learned more lessons.
- When you step into combat, there’s an inter-service rivalry. But eventually you get past the butt-sniffing phase. But when we mesh together, it’s amazing what we can do as a team.
- The longer you sit in a position, you lose relative superiority, and the momentum shifts, because you’re static.
- It’s different than training when you know it’s a live grenade in front of you.
- Mike did not hesitate. He went right down on it. What came next was brutal.
- While the SEAL teams may have trained Mike, his character and moral fabric who he was was given to him by his family. His family is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.