Military Magnet Academy students got to hear from a Medal of Honor recipient Wednesday as part of a special event involving cadets from The Citadel.
Retired Army Capt. Florent Groberg received the country’s highest military honor for his heroism while serving in combat operations in Afghanistan in 2012. He was severely injured attempting to thwart a suicide bomber.
“Whether or not you serve in the U.S. military, you have a responsibility to be a good person,” Groberg told the cadets in a brief speech.
“I served with our nation’s finest and I lost some of our nation’s finest," he added. "Every day when I get up and I brush my teeth and I shave, I have to be the best person I can possibly be to honor their memories.”
Groberg was born in France and became an American citizen months before graduating from high school in 2001. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2006 and joined the Army in 2008.
He suffered the loss of nearly half of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum and a mild traumatic brain injury. Groberg spent his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., from August 2012 through May 2015, and was medically retired in July 2015.
Groberg is the 19th recipient of the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War, the first foreign-born recipient since Vietnam and the 10th living service member bestowed since then. President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Groberg on Nov. 12, 2015, in a ceremony at the White House.
Groberg is currently director of Veterans Outreach for Boeing, based in Washington, D.C. He also spoke at The Citadel and Boeing while he was in town.
The Military Magnet event was part of The Citadel’s Leadership Day, which was created a few years ago to support local community groups that want to know more about what it takes to be a leader. Cadets also spoke to students during the event, and other groups fanned out to schools and other organizations throughout the Lowcountry.