Vows — the weekly wedding section of The New York Times — is always good for an unusual courtship story, a meet-cute or even a few tears.
Capt. Groberg is retired because of wounds he received on August 8, 2012 while commanding a protective detail in Afghanistan. While escorting a group of 28 coalition and Afghan personnel to a meeting, he spotted a suspicious civilian approaching and jumped to intercept him, first shoving him backwards and then physically tossing him to the ground. The man turned out to be a suicide bomber, one of two attacking the group. Four men were killed and 16 injured when their bombs went off; Groberg’s left leg was severely injured and his eardrum punctured, but he survived.
Groberg’s story gets even more interesting: He was born near Paris in 1983 to a French-Algerian Muslim woman, who became Klara Groberg after she married an American businessman named Larry Groberg. Eventually the family moved to the United States; Florent Groberg didn’t speak English until he was 11. He became a naturalized American citizen in 2001 and then renounced his French citizenship in 2008 when he joined the U.S. Army. That makes him the first immigrant to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
Florent Groberg met Carsen Zarin at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. in 2014, when she accidentally dropped her phone just as he was passing by. They missed connections that night, but he got her number and called her the next day. One date was all it took: “They became an instant item, and were dating for 14 months when Mr. Groberg received a call from Washington telling him that he had been chosen as a Medal of Honor recipient.”
Congratulations to them both on their marriage. And thanks to The New York Times for covering a wonderful story.
For more, see our full biography of Medal of Honor winner Florent Groberg »