Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
February 5, 2005 8:47 PM   Subscribe

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2003, will be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Sgt. Smith had always said he would give "all that I am to make sure all my boys make it home." The Medal of Honor is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty." Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, killed in Iraq in April 2004 after he threw himself on top of a grenade to protect his fellow Marines, has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.
posted by mlis (6 comments total)
It's a great thing that we have men with so much valor, and a great pity that they are called upon to make use of it.
posted by Saydur at 9:21 PM on February 5, 2005

I was already to commend anybody that would have the cajones to jump on a grenade, but something seems fishy.

Call me jaded, but I don't believe this. The stories don't seem to match in the two links and sounds a lot like the Jessica Lynch debacle. Not to mention that he hails from Tampa Bay where Bush just happens to be today.

Here's a completely different story that goes against the marines one, with a picture that shows no blood on the face as described in the Marines description. May not be proof enough, but it makes me suspicious.
posted by destro at 9:36 PM on February 5, 2005

Sorry I'm getting confused here. There are 3 people here possibly nominated for awards:

Smith got the CMOH after being shot in the head. Dunham and Kasal have been nominated for the MOH for both jumping on a grenade.

I should have read a bit more thoroughly before jumping to conclusions. My apologies.
posted by destro at 9:55 PM on February 5, 2005

The fight wasn't over, however. To Lance Cpl. Sanders's surprise, the Iraqi got up and ran. Lance Cpl. Sanders says he raised his rifle and fired 25 shots at the man's back, killing him.

No, because if the Iraqi fleeing meant the fight was over, you wouldn't shoot him 25 times in the back.
posted by iamck at 11:57 PM on February 5, 2005

I once spent a weekend pouring over the Medal of Honor recipients and their stories. Amazingly humbling stuff. An entirely random example:
On 7 January 1945, near Tillet, Belgium, his company attacked German troops on rising ground. Intense hostile machinegun fire pinned down and threatened to annihilate the American unit in an exposed position where frozen ground made it impossible to dig in for protection. Heavy mortar and artillery fire from enemy batteries was added to the storm of destruction falling on the Americans. Realizing that the machinegun must be silenced at all costs, S/Sgt. Shoup, armed with an automatic rifle, crawled to within 75 yards of the enemy emplacement. He found that his fire was ineffective from this position, and completely disregarding his own safety, stood up and grimly strode ahead into the murderous stream of bullets, firing his low-held weapon as he went. He was hit several times and finally was knocked to the ground. But he struggled to his feet and staggered forward until close enough to hurl a grenade, wiping out the enemy machinegun nest with his dying action. By his heroism, fearless determination, and supreme sacrifice, S/Sgt. Shoup eliminated a hostile weapon which threatened to destroy his company and turned a desperate situation into victory.
All the other stories are equally incredible. My apologies for the long quote. If you really want some jaw-dropping holy-shitness, I recommend reading about Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:13 AM on February 6, 2005

or go read about 2nd lt rick rescorla, ia drang valley/nam,
who, as chief of security, died in the wtc after he went in for a second time to get more people out.
posted by emdog at 4:39 AM on February 6, 2005

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