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 Paul Ray Smith
Cenotaph

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Paul Ray Smith Famous memorial

Birth
El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA
Death
4 Apr 2003 (aged 33)
Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Cenotaph
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot
Memorial Section D, Grave 67
Memorial ID
7337801 View Source

Iraq War Medal of Honor Recipient. He received the award posthumously (presented to his son) from President George W. Bush at the White House on April 4, 2005, for his actions as a sergeant first class with Company B, 115th Field Engineer Battalion, 10th Infantry Division, US Army, on April 4, 2003, near the Baghdad Airport, Iraq. After graduating from high school, he joined the US Army in October 1989. He saw action in the Gulf War, the Bosnian and Kosovo Wars, and the Iraq War where, on April 4, 2003, he was killed in a firefight with armed Iraqi insurgents. Among his other military awards include the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Southwest Asia Service Medal (with three campaign stars), the NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia, and the Saudi Arabian and Kuwait Liberation Medals. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Gulf of Mexico. A cenotaph in his memory was erected at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. His Medal of Honor citation reads: "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."

Iraq War Medal of Honor Recipient. He received the award posthumously (presented to his son) from President George W. Bush at the White House on April 4, 2005, for his actions as a sergeant first class with Company B, 115th Field Engineer Battalion, 10th Infantry Division, US Army, on April 4, 2003, near the Baghdad Airport, Iraq. After graduating from high school, he joined the US Army in October 1989. He saw action in the Gulf War, the Bosnian and Kosovo Wars, and the Iraq War where, on April 4, 2003, he was killed in a firefight with armed Iraqi insurgents. Among his other military awards include the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Southwest Asia Service Medal (with three campaign stars), the NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia, and the Saudi Arabian and Kuwait Liberation Medals. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Gulf of Mexico. A cenotaph in his memory was erected at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. His Medal of Honor citation reads: "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."

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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