First Medal of Honor for Iraq Veteran awarded Posthumously <

rplusplus

Diabloii.Net Member
First Medal of Honor for Iraq Veteran awarded Posthumously

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"Outnumbered and exposed, Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith stayed at his machine gun, beating back an advancing Iraqi force until a bullet took his life."

At the ceremony George W. Bush presented the Medal of Honor to the last Sgt. Smith's 11 year old son.

This is one of only three Medals of Honor to be awarded since the end of the Vietnam War.

"The other two post-Vietnam Medals of Honor went to Army Master Sgt. Gary I. Gordon and Army Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart, two Delta Force troopers who died defending the crew of a helicopter that was shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia, in events depicted in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down."

This is the same Division (3rd Infantry) that my nephew is currently serving in Iraq with.

R++
 

Necrolestes

Diabloii.Net Member
For king and country

This guy earned his medal ten times over. I pray that your nephew comes home safely and soon, R++.
 

skihard

Banned
I saw this yesterday and one of the news chicks interviewed the kid that drove the APC and asked him ‘why do you think he did that, why would he put himself out their like that’ and the kid said ‘I don’t think about it, he did what he did, you can’t change it, that is just what is done.’ I think it was Diane Sawyer (sp??) was but why? And the kid just said ‘because’ or something along those lines. I guess unless you have been in a hostile fire situation you just can’t even come close to comprehending putting yourself at risk to save others. I wish more could get this.
 
I'm glad that this individual has been singled out and honored for his actions in Iraq. It is good to see that some of our medals are still sacred awards to be given to those who truly earn and deserve them.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
skihard said:
I guess unless you have been in a hostile fire situation you just can’t even come close to comprehending putting yourself at risk to save others. I wish more could get this.
Never happen. In fact, our citizenry seems to have had a long-term relationship with not 'getting it' regarding lives on the line for the 'greater good' (despite our generally warlike history). Our short history has many examples of public outcry, followed by indifference or backlash.

One would have thought things were better before Vietnam, but that's from gazing through the vaseline-smeared lens of nostalgia. The big diff is that being a coward or scumbag used to result in crippling public humiliation - now it is 'kewl'.
 

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
And jmerv wins the *deleted* day award for turning this thread into something political and brining up the exact same arguments (and phrases) once again. Real classy, jmerv. I don't necessarily think that this is the place for your copy and paste rant.

Sounds like this cat did a heroic thing. That's aces in my book. To hell with politics. His boy - and the rest of us - should be proud of his pops.

maccool,
Don't let me see anything like this again.

Freet
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
maccool said:
And jmerv wins the *deleted* day award for turning this thread into something political and brining up the exact same arguments (and phrases) once again. Real classy, jmerv. I don't necessarily think that this is the place for your copy and paste rant.

Sounds like this cat did a heroic thing. That's aces in my book. To hell with politics. His boy - and the rest of us - should be proud of his pops.

maccool,
Don't let me see anything like this again.

Freet
And not to annoy Freet, but where did I mention politics? Particularly in 'copy and paste' fashion? Even though Vietnam is the prototype for public abhorrence of the realities of combat, I was actually thinking of some Civil War & Mexican-American War material I've been reading recently.

The American public has always been pretty fickle in their regard for the role of the soldier; even having a standing (professional) army is a recent development.
 

llad12

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks R++

You can find a portrait of Sgt Paul R Smith on Faces of the Fallen:

Go to the site --> portraits --> Search ---> Scroll down --> find

If really care about this subject, then see the man ... don't just read his name.
 
jmervyn said:
Never happen. In fact, our citizenry seems to have had a long-term relationship with not 'getting it' regarding lives on the line for the 'greater good' (despite our generally warlike history). Our short history has many examples of public outcry, followed by indifference or backlash.

One would have thought things were better before Vietnam, but that's from gazing through the vaseline-smeared lens of nostalgia. The big diff is that being a coward or scumbag used to result in crippling public humiliation - now it is 'kewl'.
You're always good for a well-reasoned comment and you're known worldwide for your impeccable taste, particularly in regards to your delicate subtlety in handling emotional situations.

Also, it's your ideology's fault this guy's dead. Thanks a lot, hero-killer.

You know, the real tragedy of this thing is that his heroic actions were a response to counter other heroic actions. It takes a brave lot to run head first into an invader's encampment of superior force to try to break their grip on your home town. These weren't guys who sat back and recruited kids to blow themselves up or plant bombs on the side of the road. These weren't guys cutting heads off and hiding in holes and ambushing police crews in training. 60 heroes died that day, each confronting his enemy head on and sacrificing his own life for what he saw as the greater good. These were, according to your past posturing, your kind of guys. Yet you don't want to show love for any of them, not even the ones from your own nation, instead choosing to show hate for your political opponents.

Your version of "getting it" doesn't even come close. Weren't you pretending you had experience in these matters?
 

llad12

Diabloii.Net Member
jmervyn said:
And not to annoy Freet, but where did I mention politics? Particularly in 'copy and paste' fashion? Even though Vietnam is the prototype for public abhorrence of the realities of combat, I was actually thinking of some Civil War & Mexican-American War material I've been reading recently.

The American public has always been pretty fickle in their regard for the role of the soldier; even having a standing (professional) army is a recent development.
Every soldier? How many generals have been president of the US?

Jeez ... who is on the the fifty dollar bill?

-------

So you have been reading about that 19th century War of Northern Aggression 'eh?

How many Southern high schools after named after J.E.B. Stuart or Thomas J. Jackson?

Who is arguably the most famous and beloved general in US history?

Could it be this man?

Hell, he even fought for the losing side ...
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
IDupedInMyPants said:
Also, it's your ideology's fault this guy's dead. Thanks a lot, hero-killer.
WOW! An ignorance double-header! Duped, since you obviously ignored my second response (in addition to your "F" in reading comprehension), I was not making political or ideological statements in this case. Unless you regard patriotism and self-sacrifice as bad ideology, in which case you're spot on.

IDupedInMyPants said:
You know, the real tragedy of this thing is that his heroic actions were a response to counter other heroic actions. It takes a brave lot to run head first into an invader's encampment of superior force to try to break their grip on your home town. These weren't guys who sat back and recruited kids to blow themselves up or plant bombs on the side of the road. These weren't guys cutting heads off and hiding in holes and ambushing police crews in training. 60 heroes died that day, each confronting his enemy head on and sacrificing his own life for what he saw as the greater good.
Again, your reading comprehension is shown to fail - the recipient was in an advance element, of no more than 30 individuals, holding against over 3 to 1 odds. I find this not only very interesting, but quite revealing. As far as you're concerned, then, the Iraqi army is heroic - perhaps your logic is along the lines of 'everyone is a hero'? Does that mean, in your book, that defending against overwhelming odds is not heroic? In that case, perhaps you would claim the recipient doesn't deserve the medal. I certainly think he does.

IDupedInMyPants said:
These were, according to your past posturing, your kind of guys. Yet you don't want to show love for any of them, not even the ones from your own nation, instead choosing to show hate for your political opponents.
I've met them, you haven't - how's that for posturing? Again, hate for political opponents is your bag, because I was commenting on the lack of appreciation, comprehension, or sympathy for our soldiers by U.S. citizenry. You prove my point in outstanding fashion (I don't think you've obtained your Syrian citizenship yet?).

As to the Iraqis, the individuals in question were better than the terrorists by a long shot, but they weren't as noble as the current Iraqi army in purpose. The Republican Guard was an elite force, but they also were used in the fashion you fantasize the U.S. troops to be - jack-booted terror thugs. Feel free to consider me one, if that makes you happy.

IDupedInMyPants said:
Your version of "getting it" doesn't even come close. Weren't you pretending you had experience in these matters?
Far more than you, obviously, since you seem to suggest we should award the U.S. Medal to Iraqi enemy soldiers...
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
llad12 said:
Every soldier? How many generals have been president of the US?
Did I say every? But at least you understood what I wrote, rather than hurling yourself from the deep end like your comrades :)

llad12 said:
So you have been reading about that 19th century War of Northern Aggression 'eh?
One of the current books is "Spying for America" - fascinating stuff, and I'm not even half through. But the fickle nature of Americans regarding the military certainly isn't new fodder to you, is it?

And BTW (believe it or not), I've only read one of Sharra's works - I need to borrow the others when I get a spare moment. Luckily the U.S. History teacher where I work is a Civil War buff, so there's several in the library.
 

Necrolestes

Diabloii.Net Member
Back on track?

Guys, let's stay on topic here. Politicizing this thread cheapens the man's sacrifice and no one wants to do that, right?
 

Necrolestes

Diabloii.Net Member
Death be not proud

Johnny said:
Isnt there anyway to get that medal without geting killed?
Yes, it is but it is easier to prove valor and courage when you die in defense of your comrades than it is if you don't die (therefore, it is most often awarded to those who cannot be there to accept it).
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
Necrolestes said:
Guys, let's stay on topic here. Politicizing this thread cheapens the man's sacrifice and no one wants to do that, right?
Agreed, and I had no intention of doing so. Let me state in hopefully clearer terms that most civilians have no real concept of the sacrifices involved in earning this medal, and likely never will. Firemen & Cops might have some concept, but those usually have greater positive recognition from the populace (though Firemen used to be a lot less reputable than they are now).

As to the posthumous question, I think that one of the most commonly recognized recipients, Audie Murphy, was a surviving recipient - but if one considers what he did to earn it one gets an idea just how much it means.
 
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