4th Iraq Medal Of Honor to be given


Apr 1, 2007

PFC Ross McGinnis

WASHINGTON - MAY 23 2008 — The White House announced Friday that a Pennsylvania soldier who jumped on top of a grenade in Iraq and saved the lives of his comrades will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.

The nation's highest military honor will be given to 19-year-old Army Pfc. Ross McGinnis of Knox, Pa., on June 2.

McGinnis "distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism," said White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto.

McGinnis was perched in the gunner's hatch of a Humvee on Dec. 4, 2006 when a grenade sailed past him and into the truck where four other soldiers sat. He shouted a warning to the others, then jumped on the grenade. The grenade, which was lodged near the vehicle's radio, blew up and killed him.

Lt. Col. Anne Edgecomb, an Army spokeswoman, said McGinnis easily could have jumped out of the truck and saved himself.

"The instinct is, jump out of the vehicle, but his four buddies were in the vehicle with him ... and he chose to place himself on top of the grenade and absorb the impact, and it saved their lives," Edgecomb said.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to

Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis
United States Army

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an M2 .50-caliber Machine Gunner, 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Adhamiyah, Northeast Baghdad, Iraq, on 4 December 2006.

That afternoon his platoon was conducting combat control operations in an effort to reduce and control sectarian violence in the area. While Private McGinnis was manning the M2 .50-caliber Machine Gun, a fragmentation grenade thrown by an insurgent fell through the gunner's hatch into the vehicle. Reacting quickly, he yelled "grenade," allowing all four members of his crew to prepare for the grenade's blast. Then, rather than leaping from the gunner's hatch to safety, Private McGinnis made the courageous decision to protect his crew. In a selfless act of bravery, in which he was mortally wounded, Private McGinnis covered the live grenade, pinning it between his body and the vehicle and absorbing most of the explosion.

Private McGinnis' gallant action directly saved four men from certain serious injury or death. Private First Class McGinnis' extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.






Rest in peace, Soldier. You done good. :frown:
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From today's Army Times....

A portion of the article-

The four men who were in the Humvee with McGinnis — Sgt. 1st Class Cedric D. Thomas, now-retired Staff Sgt. Ian Newland, Sgt. Lyle Buehler and Spc. Sean Lawson — attended all three ceremonies this week.
“Ross gave these four men a gift, and that’s what it was,” said Tom McGinnis, the soldier’s father, during his remarks to the audience on Tuesday. “It can not be carried as a debt. A debt is something you can repay. A gift is something you enjoy. So live your lives, enjoy your lives, because it was a gift. Ross is the reason we’re here, and the reason Ross is not here is because his Army buddies were more important than life itself.”
Tom McGinnis added that he and his family appreciate all the support they have received.
“But I feel there is someone out there more important than [my wife] Romayne and I, and that is the troops who are still active,” he said. “It’s important that we show them our appreciation … so that they are reminded that they are appreciated and will be welcomed when they come home.”

Wow -