Tuesday, September 29, 2009

American Patriot/Hero of the Week


This weeks American Patriot and Hero goes to Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith. Not many people know about SFC Smith, but he died on April 4, 2003, fighting for his country, and to save his brothers-in-arms in Iraq. He received fourteen gunshot wounds, 13 of which had penetrated his body armor. The fourteenth shot was one of the last fired by the enemy, and penetrated his neck and brain. When the battle was over, his comrades found him slumped over his Ma-deuce where he had been covering an evacuation of the wounded. Before deploying to Iraq Smith had written to his parents, "There are two ways to come home, stepping off the plane and being carried off the plane. It doesn't matter how I come home, because I am prepared to give all that I am to ensure that all my boys make it home." This man represents all that is good and pure in this nation, and lived, and ultimately died, so that his children, so that all of our children, would grow up in safety, and with the freedom he so gallantly laid down his life for. Everyone should honor this patriot, and his brave actions, regardless of their views on the war in Iraq and their personal politics. He was a true hero and patriot. I hope that as we go about our busy day, we can all take a moment to reflect on this hero's actions, and say a prayer for him and his family. For his actions and bravery, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. His MOH citation is shown below.

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 4 April 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 fellow 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 60mm 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.



4 comments:

christian soldier said...

Thank you for this one-
Carol-CS

Right Wing Extreme said...

You are most welcome C-CS. The pleasure was all mine.

Track-A-'Crat said...

RWE,

Thank you for bringing attention to those who truly deserve it, such as Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith.

Right Wing Extreme said...

TAC,
I do my best. I feel it is the very least I can do to honor the brave of this nation. I have to admit to a certain pleasure in finding the little known. It gives me the warm fuzzies to bring the obscure heroes of this nation to the fore front, even if the audience is small. I have faith the like ripples on a pond it will grow.