View Full Version : Bagdad: Army Medal of Honor nominee

04-20-03, 04:40 AM

Uncommon valor

St. Petersburg Times
published April 18, 2003

The word "hero" is tossed around so casually these days that it has almost lost its meaning. Then comes the story of Army Sgt. Paul Smith, who reminds us what a real hero is. The 33-year-old soldier from Tampa was killed April 4 after valiantly fending off an Iraqi assault on his command post.

Smith's bravery in saving his troops is a story worth repeating. He was leading two dozen engineers building a prison at Baghdad International Airport when the contingent was attacked by 100 elite Republican Guards. As his soldiers fell around him, outmanned and outgunned, Smith dodged snipers and rocket grenades to tend to the wounded. He ran to a Humvee, grabbed a grenade and blew back the charging Iraqis. Then Smith climbed atop his armored vehicle and manned the .50-caliber machine gun, emptying four boxes of ammo over 90-minutes.

Witnesses said he killed 30 to 50 Iraqis and stopped the enemy from overrunning his post. When the firing stopped and the Americans regrouped, his men found Smith shot in the head. He was the only American to die in the fight.

Smith's commander plans to nominate him for the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for bravery. Whether his heroism amounts to gallantry beyond the call of duty is a distinction for others to make. The military has a process for deciding whether valor is common or not.

However one feels about the war, his fellow countrymen owe Smith -- and others like him -- their gratitude. This man of utter selflessness willingly put the lives of his comrades ahead of his own. He leaves a wife, two children and an inspiring legacy.

04-20-03, 05:37 AM
This reminds me of Audie Murphy astride a tank in WII. He was awarded the CMH.

This thought is NOT a refectlion on the performance of Sgt. Smith.

HOWEVER, if it proves out that their heroics were equal, is it naive to assume that their rewards should also be equal?

04-20-03, 05:05 PM
If it all checks out, he should certainly recieve the CMH,you cant do any better than that if its true.:yes: