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Retired Army Captain to Get Medal of Honor for Heroism in Afghanistan

Then-1st Lt. Florent Groberg, right, will be awarded the Medal of Honor on Nov. 12 at the White House for heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2012. Pictured with Groberg is Sgt. Andrew Mahoney of Laingsburg, Mich. (US Army photo)
Then-1st Lt. Florent Groberg, right, will be awarded the Medal of Honor on Nov. 12 at the White House for heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2012. Pictured with Groberg is Sgt. Andrew Mahoney of Laingsburg, Mich. (US Army photo)

A former U.S. Army captain born in France will be awarded the Medal of Honor next month for heroic actions during combat in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in 2012, the White House announced on Wednesday.

Retired Capt. Florent A. Groberg, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, was a personal security detachment commander for his brigade commander, Col. James Mingus, when he moved to stop a suicide bomber's attack. At the time Groberg, then a first lieutenant, was assigned to Task Force Mountain Warrior.

Groberg and another soldier, Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, threw the man to the ground, where he exploded a vest filled with explosives and ball bearings. Both soldiers were injured by the blast, which also killed four other Americans.

Groberg sustained a serious wound to his left leg. Both men were awarded the Purple Heart and Mahoney was awarded the Silver Star.

Killed in the attack were Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, Maj. Thomas Kennedy, Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray, and Ragaei Abdelfattah, a representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Groberg was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from August 2012 until May 2015, according to the White House. He was medically retired on July 23, 2015.

Groberg was born in Poissy, France, on May 8, 1983. He became a naturalized U.S. Citizen on February 27, 2001, and graduated from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland in June 2001.

--Bryant Jordan can be reached at bryant.jordan@military.com

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