Spc. Ross McGinnis to Be Awarded Medal of Honor
Spc. Ross McGinnis, who was killed Dec. 4, 2006, in Iraq when he smothered a grenade with his body, will receive the Medal of Honor, sources told Army Times.
McGinnis, 19, is the second soldier to receive the nationâ€™s highest valor award for actions while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who was killed April 4, 2003, fighting off insurgents in a fierce firefight south of Baghdad, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor two years after he died.
McGinnis, of 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, is credited with saving the lives of four fellow soldiers.
On Dec. 4, 2006, McGinnis was manning the turret in the last Humvee of a six-vehicle patrol in Adhamiyah in northeast Baghdad when an insurgent threw a grenade from the roof of a nearby building.
â€œGrenade!â€ yelled McGinnis, who was manning the vehicle’s M2 .50-caliber machine gun.
McGinnis, facing backwards because he was in the rear vehicle, tried to deflect the grenade but it fell into the Humvee and lodged between the radios.
As he stood up to get ready to jump out of the vehicle, as he had been trained to do, McGinnis realized the other four soldiers in the Humvee did not know where the grenade had landed and did not have enough time to escape.
McGinnis, a native of Knox, Pa., threw his back against the radio mount, where the grenade was lodged, and smothered the explosive with his body.
The grenade exploded, hitting McGinnis on his sides and lower back, under his vest. He was killed instantly. The other four men survived.
A comment left on Blackfive’s story about McGinnis:
SPC McGinnis was a great soldier and I am alive due to his sacrifice. I was the driver of the vehicle the day we lost Ross to a cowardly enemy. I thank God everyday for blessing me with the opportunity to serve with such a brave man. For those of you that think the award process is moving to slow just know that it is seen and evaluated by many people in our chain of command. I as well would like to see it ASAP. The award requires alot of diagrams, witness statements from all who were there, and those that approve and later send to congress need to see what happened in detail otherwise they would be giving awards based on word of mouth.
I agree with SSG Troy Smith, it is carefully looked over so that no fraudelant cases arise. I have no doubt in my mind that he will receive the nation’s highest honor for his heroism. God bless his family and parents for raising such a wonderful person, soldier, friend, and brother!
Rest in Peace Ross. Gone, but never forgotten!
I love you little brother. Thank you for my continued life here on earth and I look forward to seeing you in heaven.
Posted by: SGT Lyle Buehler
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