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First Iraq Medal of Honor Awarded

Medal of Honor

The story you probably didn't read on the front page of your local
newspaper and was not a lead story on your evening network news

US President George Bush has presented the first Congressional Medal of Honor of the Iraq war to a soldier killed shortly before the fall of Baghdad.   Sgt Paul Ray Smith's son David, 11, accepted the award - the US military's highest citation for bravery. Smith's Medal of Honor is only the third awarded since Vietnam

Smith is credited with saving dozens of his men from enemy fire by manning a machine gun in an exposed position until he was shot dead.

Smith's Medal of Honor is only the third awarded since the Vietnam war. "With complete disregard for his own life, and under constant enemy fire, Sgt Smith rallied his men and led a counter-attack" when his company was attacked by Iraqi Republican Guards on 4 April 2003, Mr Bush said.

"Sgt Smith continued to fire until he took a fatal round to the head," the president told assembled military officers including Gen Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Smith's wife Birgit and daughter Jessica also attended the ceremony at the White House, as did Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defence.

Source:   BBC News

Sgt Smith

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