...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

April 05, 2005

Medal Of Honor Recipient, Paul Ray Smith

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday. Here are some of the President's remarks:

[I]n a small courtyard less than a mile from the Baghdad airport[,] Sergeant Smith was leading about three dozen men who were using a courtyard next to a watchtower to build a temporary jail for captured enemy prisoners. As they were cleaning the courtyard, they were surprised by about a hundred of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard.

With complete disregard for his own life and under constant enemy fire, Sergeant Smith rallied his men and led a counterattack. Seeing that his wounded men were in danger of being overrun, and that enemy fire from the watchtower had pinned them down, Sergeant Smith manned a 50-caliber machine gun atop a damaged armor vehicle. From a completely exposed position, he killed as many as 50 enemy soldiers as he protected his men.

Sergeant Smith's leadership saved the men in the courtyard, and he prevented an enemy attack on the aid station just up the road. Sergeant Smith continued to fire and took a -- until he took a fatal round to the head. His actions in that courtyard saved the lives of more than 100 American soldiers.

Scripture tells us, as the General said, that a man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. And that is exactly the responsibility Paul Smith believed the Sergeant stripes on his sleeve had given him. In a letter he wrote to his parents but never mailed, he said that he was prepared to 'give all that I am to ensure that all my boys make it home.'

As an aside, my family thinks we may have an ancestor who was awarded the Medal of Honor for capturing a Confederate flag during a Civil War battle in Tennessee. i have not yet done enough research to determine if he was a relation, but i know where he is buried.

Posted by annika, Apr. 5, 2005 |
Rubric: History


Shit, I didn't know that the Danes HAD a civil war.

Posted by: Casca on Apr. 5, 2005

yah, and we fucken kicked aaass!

: )

Posted by: annie on Apr. 5, 2005

If this TN battle was Shiloh, then your ancestor was in one of the two most important battles of the entire ACW.

Casca, how's that stylus wound healing??:
"When Caesar with a gesture put him off to another time, Cimber caught his toga by both shoulders. As Caesar cried, 'Why, this is violence!', one of the Cascas stabbed him from one side just below the throat. Caesar caught Casca's arm and ran it through with his stylus, but as he tried to leap to his feet, he was stopped by another wound."

I knew I'd seen your name somewhere.

Posted by: Jason O. on Apr. 6, 2005

I remember my brother sharing a story with me about his says in basic training...they had the Medal of Honor awardees from that base come and visit. He was so honored to be at the base at the same time as them, and be able to salute them, it was when I knew that he was an adult for the first time.

Posted by: Courtney on Apr. 6, 2005

This world needs more people like Sergeant Smith. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone looked out for those around them with complete disregard for their own safety.

Posted by: Mike M on Apr. 12, 2005