Soldier who fought in Afghanistan will receive Medal of Honor

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Soldier who fought in Afghanistan will receive Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON — A French-born soldier will become the 10th living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Afghanistan, the White House announced Wednesday.

Capt. Florent Groberg, 32, will be awarded the nation’s highest military honor by President Barack Obama during a ceremony planned for Nov. 12.

It will be the first Medal of Honor given for Afghanistan service since Ryan Pitts and Kyle White, both soldiers, and Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter each received the award more than one year ago.

Groberg and another soldier risked their lives in 2012 when their security detail was rushed by a suicide bomber, according to media reports and the White House. Groberg suffered injuries to his legs and spent almost three years recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

During his deployment, Groberg served as commander of a personal security detachment for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The unit was escorting a group of officers including the brigade commander on a visit to the provincial governor’s compound in Asadabad, Kunar province.

As the group entered the compound, Groberg told the Gazette newspaper in Colorado Springs, Colo., that he saw an Afghan walking backward and acting suspicious. The suicide bomber then rushed at the brigade commander.

Groberg and Sgt. Andrew J. Mahoney, who was later awarded the Silver Star, rushed the attacker and tackled him as the suicide vest detonated, according to the newspaper.

The blast badly injured Groberg and wounded Mahoney. It killed the brigade’s command sergeant major, two other servicemembers and a State Department official, the Gazette reported.

Groberg was honored by the Virginia state legislature — he was a resident of McLean — for saving “the life of the commander and many of the men on the detail.”

He was born in France, became a U.S. citizen in February 2001 and joined the Army in 2008. He graduated from high school in Bethesda, according to the White House.

tritten.travis@stripes.com
Twitter: @travis_tritten

Crash tackling a guy in a suicide vest, ballsy.
 

Etype

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I wonder why he got an MOH and the other guy only got a SS. I would think if they were both doing about the same thing, the other guy should get at least a DSC.

ETA- I think there's a trend in the military of tying the "valor factor" of an act to the severity of injuries received. If a guy is terribly injured doing X, I think he is apt to get a higher award than a guy who does X unscathed. I don't think that being wounded or not has any thing to do with the bravery needed.

Going to extremes to make a point- you can be killed pulling security, yet it's not necessarily something that is above the call. You could tackle a suicide bomber and his bomb not detonate, you come out with nothing but skinned knees yet the act was astronomically valorous.
 
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x SF med

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Flo (he would not let me call him 'Sir' or CPT Groberg) is an amazing, humble person, I spent a bunch of time with him when I was at WRNMMC with Crip. He would not talk about the actions that led to his injuries, even while having a beer or three. He has an amazing out look on life, and is a true American Soldier. He'd move forward in his recovery for a week at Bldg 62, then slide back and be on the Floor at Bldg 10 for a week, out for a month and then have another setback, fighting the whole time.

Well done CPT Groberg, Flo my friend, I will make sure you get more Elk Steaks when next we meet.
 

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Part 1 of a three-part interview with CPT Groberg.

Well I thought I was related towards the whole craziness and tyranny of terrorism personally because my uncle was killed by the GIA, which is a terrorist organization that was trying to take over the government in Algeria. He was in the Algerian Special Forces and was killed on the first day of Ramadan in 1996. So I knew at an early age that I wanted to become either FBI or serve in the military. And when my uncle was killed, it reinforced the whole military idea to serve. When I went to college, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, and that’s why I studied criminology.
 

Avenger hammer

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While I never met Captain Groberg, I was in 4ID 4IBCT during that deployment and the news of CSM Kevin Griffin hit us all really hard. He was such a nice guy and loved to visit all the FOBs and talk to even the lowest private. I'm glad some good is coming out of that event.

Steadfast and Loyal.
RIP CSM Kevin Griffin
 

JWoody

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Flo (he would not let me call him 'Sir' or CPT Groberg) is an amazing, humble person, I spent a bunch of time with him when I was at WRNMMC with Crip. He would not talk about the actions that led to his injuries, even while having a beer or three. He has an amazing out look on life, and is a true American Soldier. He'd move forward in his recovery for a week at Bldg 62, then slide back and be on the Floor at Bldg 10 for a week, out for a month and then have another setback, fighting the whole time.

Well done CPT Groberg, Flo my friend, I will make sure you get more Elk Steaks when next we meet.
I was fortunate enough to meet and have a few conversations with CPT Groberg at WRNMMC. Good Times.
 
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