Monday, June 2, 2008

There are Heroes - Ross A. McGinnis

Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis was stationed in turret the last of six Humvees in a patrol in northeast Baghdad when someone threw a grenade past him, into the Humvee.

The grenade lodged near the Humvee's radio.

McGinnis could have jumped, as he was trained to do. But he apparently realized that the other four soldiers in the Humvee didn't know that other four soldiers didn't know where the grenade had landed - and didn't have time to get out.

So, instead of jumping, he put his back against the radio mount. When the grenade exploded, it killed Private First Class McGinnis, but his decision to absorb the blast saved the four other soldiers.

An American Major General said that McGinnis "was part of a mission that requires equal measures of courage and compassion."

There are still heroes, people who decide to serve others, however dangerous that service is.

Ross A. McGinnis died December 4, 2006. His parents received the Medal of Honor at the White House today.

He's the fourth to American soldier serving in Iraq whose survivors received that honor:
  • Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis
  • Army Sergeant 1st Class Paul R. Smith
  • Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor
  • Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham
Sources and background:
  • "McGinnis' parents to receive Medal of Honor today"
    The Derrick (June 2, 2008)
    • "The nation's highest award for valor is to be awarded today at the White House in honor of Knox hometown hero Ross A. McGinnis, who sacrificed his life in December 2006 while serving in Iraq.
    • "President Bush is scheduled to present the award to McGinnis' parents, Thomas and Romayne, during the Medal of Honor ceremony to be held this morning in the East Wing of the White House.
    • "McGinnis, 19, of Knox died Dec. 4, 2006, from wounds he received in Baghdad after a grenade was thrown into his vehicle.
    • "The soldier shouted a warning to the other men before hurling himself onto the grenade - lodged near the Humvee's radio - shortly before it blew up, killing him."
  • "Pa. Soldier Who Jumped on Grenade to Receive Posthumous Medal of Honor"
    FOXNews (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.
Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.