Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday Hero 02/25/2009

Spc. Ross A. McGinnis
Spc. Ross A. McGinnis
19 years old from Knox, Pennsylvania
1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
December 4, 2006
U.S. Army

His mission was to patrol the streets of Adhamiyah in northeast Baghdad and find a place to put a 250-kilowatt generator that would provide electricity for more than 100 homes. But it's a mission he wasn't able to accomplish.

Shortly after Pfc. McGinnis's convoy left the compound, and less than a mile from FOB Apache, an insurgent standing on a nearby rooftop threw a grenade into the sixth, and last, Humvee. "Grenade!" yelled McGinnis, who was manning the vehicle's M2 .50-caliber machine gun. He tried to deflect the grenade but it fell into the Humvee and lodged between the radios.

"McGinnis turned and looked down and realized no one in the truck knew where the grenade was," said Capt. Michael Baka, his company commander. "He knew everyone had their doors combat-locked and they wouldn't be able to get out."

Instead of jumping out of the truck to save his own life, like he had been trained to do, McGinnis threw his back against the radio mount, smothering the explosive with his body. The grenade exploded just as Pfc. McGinnis covered it. The blast filled the vehicle with black smoke and debris and blew the driver's door and right passenger's door wide open and blew the machine gun off its mount. The explosion hit McGinnis on his sides and his lower back, under his vest. He was killed instantly.

The other four soldiers in the Humvee suffered relatively minor injuries.

On the morning of December 4, 2006, before his convoy had left, Cpt. Baka has signed a waver promoting Pfc. McGinnis to Specialist and he was posthumously promoted to E-4.

For his heroic actions on that day, McGinnis was awarded the Silver Star and was nominated for a Medal of Honor which he received on June 2, 2008.

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These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Red said...

There are folks like the young man above who truly sacrifice for a higher ideal not supported by the current administration. It sickens and saddens me.

AirmanMom said...

red...we are such a blessed nation to have such a dedicated military! They do their job. It is so very important for us to thank those who protect our freedoms and never forget those who haven given their all for our country!

Tami said...

God Bless this young man and his family.

AirmanMom said...


Julie said...

Oh, AM. This made me so teary. What a hero that young man was. God bless him.

AirmanMom said...

julie...Such a selfless soldier! How blessed we are!


Mary said...

I pay tribute to Spc. Ross A. McGinnis. His sacrifice was duly recognized and this pleases me. A definite hero, who gave up his life for his friends.

No greater love hath a man, than to lay down his life for a friend

Thanks for bringing this hero to our attention. May he rest in peace and may his family find comfort in God.


AirmanMom said...

mary...your sweet words mean so much, everytime you visit!

Terri Tiffany said...

I know his family must be so proud. I'm from PA but don't know this town but I know the spirit that is alive up there for our men in the service. Blessings!

AirmanMom said...

terri...thank you for taking the time to read the story of this hero!

Anonymous said...

I don't ever have any words when I read these Wednesday Hero stories, but he can be sure that he won't ever be forgotten.

AirmanMom said...

love...praying for their families and never all we can do!