Graphic Novel Features Captain Who Tackled Suicide Bomber

Graphic Novel Features Captain Who Tackled Suicide Bomber

Comic book cover
Photo by: AUSA

Retired Capt. Flo Groberg, who tackled a suicide bomber in Afghanistan to protect his fellow soldiers, is the subject of the latest graphic novel in the Association of the U.S. Army’s series on recipients of the nation’s highest award for valor.

Medal of Honor: Flo Groberg tells of how Groberg was leading a security detachment in Afghanistan when he tackled a suicide bomber to keep him away from fellow soldiers. Groberg was severely wounded when the bomber’s vest detonated, but his quick actions saved many lives. He is the first foreign-born Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War.

“Flo Groberg is a humble man whose first thought in action was to save the lives of his comrades,” said Joseph Craig, director of AUSA’s Book Program. “I am proud of the way the creative team has spotlighted his inspiring story.”

Medal of Honor: Flo Groberg is available here.

AUSA launched its Medal of Honor graphic novel series in October 2018. This is the 22nd novel in the series. The digital graphic novels are available here.

Florent “Flo” Groberg, 41, was born in Poissy, France. He moved to the U.S. as a child and became a citizen in 2001. He entered the Army in July 2008 and was commissioned as an infantry officer later that year and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division.

In 2012, while on his second deployment to Afghanistan, Groberg was the personal security detachment commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior, responsible for the safety of 28 coalition and Afghan National Army personnel.

On Aug. 8, 2012, the soldiers set out from Forward Operating Base Fiaz to the provincial governor’s compound in Asadabad for a weekly security meeting, according to an Army account.

As the patrol neared the compound, Groberg spotted a man who began walking backwards in the direction of the patrol. When the man made an abrupt turn toward the formation, Groberg rushed him and shoved him away from his fellow soldiers.

Groberg immediately confirmed the man was wearing a suicide vest, and with the help of Sgt. Andrew Mahoney, another soldier with the personal security detachment, Groberg pushed the man away from the group and down to the ground, according to the Army.

On the ground, the man’s explosive vest detonated. The blast caused a second suicide bomber, who remained hidden, to detonate his vest prematurely, according to the Army.

Four Americans died in the blasts—Maj. Thomas Kennedy, Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, Air Force Maj. David Gray and Ragaei Abdelfattah, a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Mahoney received the Silver Star, the third-highest award for valor, for his actions.

Groberg lost almost half of his left calf muscle and suffered significant nerve damage. He also had a blown eardrum and a mild traumatic brain injury, according to the Army. After 33 surgeries and recovering for almost three years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Groberg was medically retired from the Army.

On Nov. 12, 2015, Groberg received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama.

“We defeated the enemy on that day,” Groberg said, according to the Army. “… But it was the worst day of my life, because even though we defeated the enemy, I lost four of my brothers.”

Each AUSA graphic novel is created by a team of professional comic book veterans. The script for Medal of Honor: Flo Groberg was written by Chuck Dixon, whose previous work includes Batman, The Punisher and The ‘Nam.

Pencils, inks and the cover were by Geof Isherwood, whose work includes The ’Nam, G.I. Joe and Conan the Barbarian; colors were by Peter Pantazis, who previously worked on Justice League, Superman and Black Panther; and the lettering was by Troy Peteri, who has worked on Spider-Man, Iron Man and X-Men.