Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Medal of Honor Awarded

Two years after being killed in action in Iraq, Sergeant Paul Ray Smith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday. The medal was presented by President Bush to Sergeant Smith’s wife and two children.

As reported in the Washington Post:

Ambushed, outnumbered and under fire, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith took matters into his own hands. Jumping on top of an armored vehicle in place of its injured crew, he aimed a .50-caliber machine gun at the advancing Iraqi Republican Guard and opened fire.

By the time he had gone through three ammunition belts, the enemy attack had been repulsed and his unit saved. According to the official Army account, Smith single-handedly killed 20 to 50 enemy soldiers and saved 100 of his own. The only American to die in the skirmish that night outside Baghdad was Smith, struck down by a bullet to the head.

Whether you agree with the war or not, we should all recognize and honor the extraordinary bravery exhibited by Paul Smith.

This is only the third Medal of Honor awarded since Vietnam and the first and only to be awarded during the Iraq War. The US Army has established this site as a tribute.


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