14 May 2008

Medal of Honor to be awarded for Iraq

I missed this news item a couple of weeks ago. ZUI this article from the Pittsburgh (PA) Tribune-Review:
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.

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.

Zui also this article from the Navy Times:
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.

“Grenade!” 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.

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