Top Honor for Valor to 19 Year old

The Scotsman

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2008
South of the Haggis Munching Line
Pennsylvania Native Threw Himself on Grenade in Baghdad

June 2, 2008

Army Pfc. Ross McGinnis is the fourth service member to receive the military's highest honor for valor, the Medal of Honor, for combat in Iraq.

McGinnis, who would have turned 21 later this month, was killed when he pinned himself against a grenade that landed in his humvee while on patrol in Baghdad in December 2006.. Instead of jumping out of the vehicle, he sat on the grenade to save the lives of four soldiers riding with him.

"From his position in the gun turret, he noticed a grenade thrown directly at the vehicle," President Bush explained at the Medal of Honor Ceremony at the White House Monday. "In an instant, the grenade dropped through the gunner's hatch. He shouted a warning to the four men inside. Confined in that tiny space, the soldiers had no chance of escaping the explosion. Private McGinnis could have easily jumped from the humvee and saved himself. Instead he dropped inside, put himself against the grenade, and absorbed the blast with his own body. By that split-second decision, Private McGinnis lost his own life, and he saved his comrades."

The president called the rural Pennsylvania native a "regular guy" who loved playing basketball, working on cars, doing great impersonations making even the drill sergeants laugh, but noted McGinnis wasn't too wild about schoolwork.

Bush reflected on McGinnis's earlier years explaining, "When Ross McGinnis was in kindergarten, the teacher asked him to draw a picture of what he wanted to be when he grew up. He drew a soldier. Today our nation recognizing -- recognizes him as a soldier, and more than that –- because he did far more than his duty. In the words of one of our commanding generals, 'Four men are alive because this soldier embodied our Army values and gave his life."'

ABC's Jonathan Karl spoke with two of the four soldiers who survived the blast that cost McGinnis his life. "I remember him yelling 'grenade,'" Staff Sergeant Ian Newland recalled. "He was more impressed by saving our lives than saving his own…he wanted to make sure we made it out of there."

Staff Sgt Ian Newland said he feels survivor's guilt at times and often questions, "Why did this soldier die...instead of me?" asked Newland. Newland, who has had numerous surgeries and walks now with a cane, said he plans on being able to run again in about a year even though doctors say that may be an overly ambitious time-frame for his recovery.

When asked how McGinnis would react if he could have attended today's ceremony, Newland said he would be "proud" -- adding that he could see McGinnis's smile.

Sergeant First Class Cedric Thomas told ABC, "He would be eating this up…that's his personality."

In addition to Newland and Thomas, Sergeant Lyle Buehler, Specialist Sean Lawson, and McGinnis's parents also attended today's ceremony.

The President awards the Medal of Honor in the name of Congress to a person who, as a member of the Armed Forces, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while in battle.

President Bush has awarded 12 Medals of Honor during his presidency, including four for fighting in Iraq and one for fighting in Afghanistan.



enough said.............
He is certainly looking down from Valhalla. A true hero no doubt, and worthy of the decoration. Despite what one thinks about our various military deployments currently going on, especially the Iraq debate, it is critical we Americans draw a distinction between those on the ground risking everything, versus those who sit in Washington and send them to fight.

Godspeed to his comrades.

The Podhoretz Neo-Con Republican president, George Bush, got elected on his solemn promise that there would be “no nation building”; then, on the notorious pretense of a nuclear threat, he illegally turned on two faucets: out of one flows the American People’s precious wealth, and out of the other faucet flows their priceless blood, to the sole benefit of Israel: now approaching 4000 sons and 1 trillion dollars.

This heinous treasonous betrayal of the sacred trust of the American People is a black mark on his family name which can never be erased, and will damn him forever in American history.

Google: “Mearsheimer Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”; “Evans Blacklisted by History: Untold Story of Joe McCarthy”; “Wall Street Journal McCain-Feingold”; Stricherz Why the Democrats are Blue; “Human Events Ron Paul Interview”; McClelland "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."