Pantheon these are gritty people • luck is an illusion

John Thompson

gritfire farm to post

On January 11, 1992, John Wayne Thompson was an 18-year old high school senior living in North Dakota. A quiet and polite teenager, Thompson took special pride in handling things on the 1,600 acre farm when his parents were away.

On this day, Thompson's parents were 90 miles away, visiting a relative. After sleeping late, he finally attacked his major chore about noon – shoveling barley from a truck onto an augur that carried the grain into a storage bin.

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Randall Shughart and Gary Gordon

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In 1992, food distribution in Somalia was halted by the most powerful Somali warlord, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, during Somalia's civil war. The imposed famine caused the starvation deaths of hundreds of thousands of Somalis. An ambush by Aidid's militia in June 1993 killed over 20 UN peacekeepers, prompting the United States to deploy a task force of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force commandos to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, where they began conducting raids on suspected headquarters and hideouts of Aidid.

On this task force was Sergeant First Class Randall D. Shughart, a graduate of the U.S. Army's highly-selective Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces schools, and a member of the Army's ultra-elite "Delta Force."

Also on this task force was Master Sergeant Gary I. Gordon, another graduate the Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces schools, and member of Delta Force.

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Lt. Michael P. Murphy

ltmurphyLt. Michael P. Murphy, fondly referred to by friends and family as "Murph" was also given the nickname "The Protector" by his high school classmates. In 8th grade for example, he stepped in and protected a special needs child who was being shoved into a locker by a group of older students. During high school years he jumped in and defended an unknown homeless man who was being attacked.

Murphy attended Penn State University, where he was an avid reader; his reading tastes ranged from the Greek historian Herodotus to Tolstoy's "War and Peace." Murphy's favorite book was Steven Pressfield's "Gates of Fire," about the Spartan stand at Thermopylae.

Following graduation, he was accepted to several law schools, but instead he changed course. Slightly built at only 5 feet 10 inches, Murphy began Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, California. Lt. Murphy earned his SEAL Trident in 2002.

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Michael A. Monsoor

As a child, Michael Anthony Monsoor was afflicted with asthma and used an inhaler, but he overcame it by strengthening his lungs swimming in a local pool.

Monsoor enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2001, and graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in 2004. In April 2006 he deployed to Iraq with SEAL Team 3.

On May 9, 2006, Monsoor rescued a SEAL who was shot in the leg and stranded in the middle of a street. Despite heavy insurgent gunfire, Monsoor ran exposed out into the street and dragged his teammate back to safety. For this action, he earned the Silver Star.

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This list is compiled for editorial purposes only. The photographs and likenesses used are for non-commercial, educational, descriptive and visual references of a specific person or newsworthy event in our modern times or in history. These people have not licensed their names or likenesses to, nor are they affiliated or associated with GritFire.

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