PFC Ross McGinnis to be awarded the Medal of Honor
Posted by: McQ
on Thursday, May 01, 2008
McGinnis, who was profiled in this Project Hero post, will become the 2nd soldier (Sgt Paul Ray Smith was the first Soldier to receive the MOH) to receive the nation's highest award for valor in Iraq. Like all of those previously given, the award is posthumous.
President Bush is expected to award a Clarion County soldier the Medal of Honor in June, which would make Spc. Ross A. McGinnis the fifth soldier who served in Afghanistan or Iraq to receive the nation's highest honor.From the Project Hero post:
McGinnis, 19, of Knox died Dec. 4, 2006, from wounds he suffered when he threw himself on a grenade to save the lives of four other soldiers in his Humvee.
Citing anonymous sources, the Army Times on Monday said the president has approved the award. Maj. Nathan Banks, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Defense Department can't comment on the matter until the White House makes the announcement.
McGinnis was manning the gunner’s hatch when an insurgent tossed a grenade from above. It flew past McGinnis and down through the hatch before lodging near the radio.Originally awarded the Silver Star, the upgrade to the MOH, given McGinnis's sacrifice, is well deserved.
His platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas of Longview, Texas, recalled what happened next.
“Pfc. McGinnis yelled ‘Grenade. It’s in the truck,’” Thomas said. “I looked out of the corner of my eye as I was crouching down and I saw him pin it down.”
McGinnis did so even though he could have escaped.
“He had time to jump out of the truck,” Thomas said. “He chose not to.”
Thomas remembered McGinnis talking about how he would respond in such a situation. McGinnis said then he didn’t know how he would act, but when the time came, he delivered.
“He gave his life to save his crew and his platoon sergeant,” Thomas said. “He’s a hero. He’s a professional. He was just an awesome guy.”
Three of the Soldiers with McGinnis who were wounded that day have returned to duty, while a fourth is recovering in Germany.