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Bush Awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL Killed in Iraq

President Bush has presented America's highest military award to the parents of a Navy special operations serviceman killed in Iraq two years ago. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

Petty Officer Second Class Michael Monsoor went to Ramadi in 2006 as part of a Navy SEAL special operations force to train Iraqi troops.

In September of that year, Monsoor and three SEAL snipers took up a rooftop position during a firefight with insurgents. The Defense Department says a grenade thrown from the street below hit Monsoor in the chest and dropped to the roof. The 25-year-old gunner covered the grenade with his body - saving the lives of his comrades, but suffering wounds that took his life 30 minutes later.

President Bush recognized that sacrifice by presenting Monsoor's parents, George and Sally Monsoor, with a posthumous Medal of Honor.

"Mr. and Mrs. Monsoor, America owes you a debt that can never be repaid," he said. "This nation will always cherish the memory of your son. We will not let his life go in vain. This nation will always honor the sacrifice he made. May God comfort you. May God bless America."

More than 4,000 American servicemen and women have died in Iraq. Michael Monsoor is the fourth person to receive the Medal of Honor in the fight against terrorism.