AMERICA

AMERICA
ONE NATION UNDER GOD!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY


 Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith


Medal of Honor citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

    Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on April 4, 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. 

As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60 mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith's extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division 'Rock of the Marne,' and the United States Army.
 

Other honors
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A middle school in Tampa, Florida is named in honor of his sacrifice.
    * The U.S. Post Office in Holiday, Florida, and the United States Army Simulation and Training Technology Center in Orlando, Florida have been named in his honor.
    * New middle schools were named in honor in Holiday, Florida on August 25, 2006 and in his hometown of Tampa, Florida, on April 27, 2009.    
* SFC Smith is also honored in the America's Army Game with information about him and a simulation of his battle.
    * Birgit Smith, SFC Smith's widow, sponsored the USS Freedom, the first Freedom-class littoral combat ship and her initials are welded on the ship's keel. The couple's Saint Christopher medal and wedding bands are also embedded in the ship's mast.
    * New fitness centers at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart, Georgia, as well as one in Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq are named in his honor.
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Greater Love hath no man, than to lay down his life for his friends. Jn. 15:13

8 comments:

NicNacManiac said...

Hey there Sweetness,
You always bring such joy to my heart whenever I see that you have made a visit! Thank you, we are safe and enjoying a day off from the grind!
Love your waves...the wonders of nature!
Be good today and know that you are always in my thoughts!!
Hugs xOxO Nerina

Red Shoes said...

Thank you for recognizing another hero... the common thread of these people you mention is their service to their colleagues...

God Bless...

~shoes~

SusanD said...

Thank you for honoring this young man and his family. These accounts should be making the headlines and news casts. Have a fabulous weekend. Blessings, SusanD

Just telling it like it is said...

My heart melts when I hear these stories and I ;have heard quite a few since I make it my business to at least acknowledge our military scarifies. Mwahhh and thank you for you kind comment...it made my day! hugs!

Ms. Anthropy said...

Hubs just got a t-shirt from our neighbor serving (in MI) in Afghanistan. It has TF FALCON MARNE AIR on it, with 321st MI Battalion OEF X.

Wasn't sure if you got my email, but wanted to thank you for your brilliant comment you left me. It made me smile, big time!

2Thinks said...

After I read these, I always wonder if you knew these guys or how you know about them.

PTSD, A Caregiver's Perspective said...

Kurt,

You are KILLING me right now. How is it in a world that is so effing obsessed with looks and money... that heroes like this don't make headline news? Am I living in a friggin alternate universe?

I love your continued commitment to highlighting these brave souls.

Domenica

Charlotte said...

Hi Kurt, Happy 4th! Thanks for the comment that you posted on my blog about Psalm 144.

Here's a link that you might enjoy:

http://whats-new-whats-next.blogspot.com/2010/07/america-beautiful.html