Flo Groberg talks '8 Seconds Of Courage' and Medal of Honor

Turning the "worst day of his life" into a life mission

Eric Dehm
December 21, 2017 - 12:00 pm

(U.S. Army photo by Eboni L. Everson-Myart)


Army Captain (Ret.) Florent "Flo" Groberg is blunt when it comes to talking about what it takes to earn our highest military honor.

"You don't receive the Medal of Honor for having a good day at work. You are awarded it because you had the worst day of your life."

The worst day of Groberg's life was August 8, 2012. He was on patrol in Asadabad, Afghanistan when a suicide bomber approached the patrol. Groberg, a track athlete in his college days at the University of Maryland, kicked it into high gear, sprinting towards the bomber, tackling him.

Groberg survived, but was severely injured.

Groberg was awarded the Medal of Honor for those actions and spoke about that day to an audience at University of Maryland University College -- where Groberg earned his M.S. in intelligence Management -- for a Q&A about his new book "8 Seconds Of Courage: A Soldier's Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor."

Groberg says writing the book, along with co-author Tom Sileo, was therapeutic and allowed him to reflect on his life and tell the world, and himself, how he felt about his story and his status as a Medal of Honor recipient.

"To me the Medal of Honor is the greatest honor you can ever receive so there's going to be some responsibilities behind it," Groberg tells ConnectingVets.com. "It's about each of us making the right decision at a specific time on what we want to go out there and do and support, how we want to be represented, and how we represent the medal."

Medal of Honor recipient Florent "Flo" Groberg speaks at a UMUC event emceed by UMUC's Keith Hauk.
(Photo by Eric Dehm/ConnectingVets)

Groberg has chosen to use the platform afforded him by the honor to bring attention to veteran's issues. He's focused on helping vets find gainful employment, and assisting those struggling with TBI and PTSD.

In fact, Groberg says those two issues are often closely related, and led to him accepting a job as Boeing's Director of Veteran Outreach, a job he takes very seriously.

"We have a responsibility in corporate America to continue making an impact in hiring our veterans and give them opportunities to succeed and grow in these companies," Groberg said. "If you can pay your bills, pay your medical bills and put food on the table? That's going to go a long ways especially if you're struggling on the inside."

Flo Groberg has no plans to stop working for his brothers and sisters in arms. Listening to him speak, it becomes clear that while the injuries he sustained on that fateful day in Afghanistan ended his military career, nothing will stop his mission to help veterans not just survive, but thrive.