Medal of Honor awarded to Operation Iraqi Freedom Soldier

March 23rd, 2005  
Duty Honor Country

Topic: Medal of Honor awarded to Operation Iraqi Freedom Soldier

The Army Times put this story on thier front page of this week's issue.

First Medal of Honor to be awarded in 12 years

Saving lives — and giving his own
First Medal of Honor to be awarded in 12 years

By Matthew Cox and Gina Cavallaro
Times staff writers

The morning had just begun, but chaos would quickly fill the grassy courtyard of the Republican Guard complex near Baghdad.

It was April 4, 2003, the first day the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, occupied Saddam International Airport.

Soldiers with the 11th Engineer Battalion had moved into the adjacent complex to set up a temporary holding area for enemy prisoners. The Army engineers, medics and mortar operators numbered between 14 and 20 and had bashed their way into the courtyard with an armored bulldozer, believing the site to be safe. They did not know that at least 100 Iraqi soldiers were taking position inside.

Soon, they came under a hailstorm of fire. The battle would rage for more than 90 minutes, and the U.S. troops would prevail at a heavy cost.

During the fight, one soldier would distinguish himself with bravery that would save lives and cost his. For his actions, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith of Tampa, Fla., will posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor, the first issued since the 1993 battle in Somalia that was the basis for the book “Black Hawk Down...
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March 23rd, 2005  
Well deserved and may Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith rest in peace.
March 23rd, 2005  
Charge 7
I remember when this story first broke and knew for certain then that SFC Smith would be awarded the MH. I'm glad my faith was not mislead. An awesome solder. Well done and God bless.
March 23rd, 2005  
Man, talk about an Army of one. Lord, welcome one more Sarge, he earned his place.
March 24th, 2005  
A Can of Man
Hard core.
March 26th, 2005  
Glad to see that someone finally pulled their head out. Showing the troops that their sacrifices will be remembered by someone other than just their familys and teammates can go a long way towards improving moral and the individual's feeling of self-worth. It doesn't hurt that God truly loves his warriors.