Video: Medal of Honor Recipient Flo Groberg Gives Christmas Eve Speech to Troops in Afghanistan

Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Florent Groberg (US Army Retired) addressed troops at FOB Fenty in Afghanistan where he was based in 2012 when he earned the MoH fighting off an attack by suicide bombers by physically intercepting the lead bomber as he approached a troop formation. Groberg was gravely wounded in the attack.

Capt. Florent Groberg, image via Defense Dept.

Groberg is traveling with the USO and of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford on a Christmas tour to visit troops.

Video of Groberg’s speech to troops at FOB Fenty was posted by the Joint Staff’s Twitter account.

Groberg posted a photo to Instagram paying tribute to his fallen comrades.


The Defense Department posted a report on Groberg’s visit to FOB Fenty, authored by Jim Garamone.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 2017 — Flo Groberg celebrated Christmas at home with his brothers- and sisters-in-arms this year.

Home is this base outside Jalalabad where Groberg was deployed in 2012 as an Army 1st lieutenant.

After retiring as a captain, he has returned as a symbol of bravery and resiliency for the soldiers of this base. Now, Groberg wears the Medal of Honor around his neck for his actions in nearby Asadabad on Aug. 8, 2012, when he was severely injured attempting to stop an attack on his patrol by suicide bombers.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, invited Groberg to accompany him for the 2017 USO Holiday Tour, an invitation he said he immediately accepted.

Groberg’s first stop upon arriving at the base was to visit the memorial at the entrance to the base. The names of the four Americans killed in the attack in Asadabad are engraved there.

“I left [Forward Operating Base] Fenty on a stretcher,” Groberg told the soldiers. “I spent the next couple of months of my life — hell, years — at Walter Reed Hospital to recover. One thing I never lost: From the first day I came into the United States Army and I put on that uniform that you are wearing, I held onto my warrior ethos — that will to fight and destroy the enemy.”

Best of the Best

The Army and the country needs that ethos, because “the reality is, we’re at war,” Groberg said. “The reality is the work you do every single day is an honor — you are the best of the best.

“I am back here to tell the enemy who blew me up and killed my brothers that I’m still standing. They can’t keep me down. I still have my spirit.”

Groberg told the soldiers that they are doing the job that he can’t do anymore. “For that, I honor you,” he said. “There is no better place in the world to be today — on Christmas Eve — than spending the holidays with you.”

The chairman also thanked the soldiers for their sacrifices and stressed that those sacrifices have been worth it to the nation. “There’s a lot of people back home this year, they are enjoying the Christmas holidays, they go into a mall, they don’t think twice about their security, they drive around and conduct their lives not thinking twice about terrorists,” Dunford said. “I’m firmly convinced … that the reason they can do that is because we are playing an away game here, instead of a home game.

He told the soldiers that he believes the reason America has not seen another 9/11 is because of the men and women who have deployed to Afghanistan over the past 16 years. “So thanks for what you are doing,” he said.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDODNews)”

The Medal of Honor citation for Capt. Groberg:

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.”

Groberg recently authored a memoir, 8 Seconds of Courage; A Soldier’s Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor

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