Florent Groberg is the 10th living service member that fought in Afghanistan to be awarded the Medal of Honor. As is a tradition that was pioneered by David Letterman, he was invited on to The Late Show now hosted by Stephen Colbert.
Groberg was in the eastern part of Kunar Province in Afghanistan on a security detail for Col. James Mingus, when he saw two motorcyclists head toward his group then run away. At that moment a man came at them from his left, walking backward. When Groberg approached him and struck him with his rifle he realized he had a suicide vest on.
Without hesitating he grabbed the suicide bomber and dragged him away from those he was protecting at which point the man detonated at his feet. When the dust settled, 4 were dead and Groberg’s leg was wounded beyond repair. However, his swift thinking saved the lives of 24 others.
At the end of his interview with Colbert, Groberg did something incredible. The interview was taped shortly after the Paris attacks. Groberg was born in France and fluent in French, he took a moment to give a personal message to the people of France.
Simply incredible. A true hero.
Watch Groberg’s incredible interview on Colbert:
Here is Groberg’s official citation:
Captain Florent A. Groberg distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Personal Security Detachment Commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Asadbad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on August 8, 2012. On that day, Captain Groberg was leading a dismounted movement consisting of several senior leaders to include two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, two command sergeants major, and an Afghanistan National Army brigade commander. As they approached the Provincial Governor’s compound, Captain Groberg observed an individual walking close to the formation. When the individual made an abrupt turn towards the formation, he noticed an abnormal bulge underneath the individual’s clothing. Selflessly placing himself in front of one of the brigade commanders, Captain Groberg rushed forward, using his body to push the suspect away from the formation. Simultaneously, he ordered another member of the security detail to assist with removing the suspect. At this time, Captain Groberg confirmed the bulge was a suicide vest and with complete disregard for his life, Captain Groberg again with the assistance of the other member of the security detail, physically pushed the suicide bomber away from the formation. Upon falling, the suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest outside the perimeter of the formation, killing four members of the formation and wounding numerous others. The blast from the first suicide bomber caused the suicide vest of a previously unnoticed second suicide bomber to detonate prematurely with minimal impact on the formation. Captain Groberg’s immediate actions to push the first suicide bomber away from the formation significantly minimized the impact of the coordinated suicide bombers’ attack on the formation, saving the lives of his comrades and several senior leaders. Captain Groberg’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of life are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect credit upon himself, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.
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