Those Navy SEALS are something else. Wherever you stand on the military, this or that war or conflict, the take down of OBL, etc., you gotta admit that the SEALS are pretty amazing. Kindalike superheroes actually. As proof of this I refer you to two missions…the 2009 rescue of captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates, and the recent OBL takedown (p.s. Both missions were run by the same elite group of SEALs, Team 6).
I just learned a few days ago that I have a relative who was not only a Navy SEAL, but is also a Medal of Honor recipient.
Thomas R. Norris
Apparently Thomas R. Norris is the son of my dad’s father’s cousin. I haven’t figured out what that makes him to me. Other than a hero, that is.
Read his bio HERE.
Apparently the story of what lead to his being awarded this medal is told in the 1988 movie BAT*21. I don’t know if he’s mentioned by name, but I’ve added the movie to my Netflix queue. In a nutshell, while serving in Viet Nam, Norris volunteered to go deep behind enemy lines to rescue downed pilots. This involved disguises, sampans, fierce fire fights, and unbelievable bravery. I’m interested to learn more about this average-looking-far-from-average relative of mine. An interesting part of his story is that after the actions that would ultimately earn him a MOH, he was severely injured and subsequently rescued by a fellow SEAL who was then awarded the MOH for HIS actions. The only time a MOH winner was rescued by another MOH winner! They received their medals in the same ceremony. This link takes you to a page where his story is told in brief and a long interview with my “cousin”.
Norris wasn’t alone on his mission to save downed pilots in Viet Nam. He was accompanied by a brave South Vietnamese volunteer (read about him HERE).
After his service in the Navy, Norris went on to serve for 20 years with FBI. He was an original member of the HRT, Hostage Rescue Team and an assault team leader. This is one fascinating guy! Maybe I’ll get to meet him some day! He lives in Idaho. I’ve never been to Idaho…