On his 17th birthday, the first day he was eligible, Ross McGinnis enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program of the United States Army. It was June 14, 2004 when he presented himself at the Clarion, PA Army Recruiting Station. It was also the 229th birthday of the US Army.
From his Medal of Honor citation:
"On 4 December 2006, Ross McGinnis, this 19 year-old soldier was serving as an M2 .50-caliber Machine Gunner, 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Adhamiyah, Northeast Baghdad, Iraq.
That afternoon his platoon was conducting combat control operations in an effort to reduce and control sectarian violence in the area. While Private McGinnis was manning the M2 .50-caliber Machine Gun, a fragmentation grenade thrown by an insurgent fell through the gunner's hatch into the vehicle. Reacting quickly, he yelled "grenade," allowing all four members of his crew to prepare for the grenade's blast. Then, rather than leaping from the gunner's hatch to safety, Private McGinnis made the courageous decision to protect his crew. In a selfless act of bravery, in which he was mortally wounded, Private McGinnis covered the live grenade, pinning it between his body and the vehicle and absorbing most of the explosion.
For his action, McGinnis was posthumously promoted to specialist and awarded the Medal of Honor as well as the Silver Star and Purple Heart. His family was presented the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush on June 2, 2008 at a ceremony at the White House."
When a reporter asked the family if they wished Ross had jumped clear of the danger and saved himself, his Father answered: "Ross saved the lives of four other soldiers, he would not have been able to live with himself if he had not done that."
Do we still make them like Ross McGinnis or Jack Lucas? Of course we do, these people, like Ross and Jack, are the essence of America. They and their families are the heart of this country and that, which makes it great.
We hear so much from people like sensationalist Hollywood types; socialist educationalists and witless followers of the wacko far left who love to denigrate our armed forces.
It is like thoughtless anti-Americanism; no logic, no experience, no reason just condemnation because it is popular in these quarters and provides a sense of belonging to some people who's lives are full of negativity and they want company… they want to belong. They could never walk proud like the members of our armed forces and their families so, in accordance with human nature, they malign that which they can never have.
Sadly we must suffer these fools but, we can also ignore their pitiful dissatisfaction and honor the true heroes; those that have served and are still serving their country.
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