Spc. Ross A. McGinnis has been nominated by his commanders for the Medal of Honor, said Maj. Sean
Ryan, a spokesman for 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

On Dec. 4, while on duty in Baghdad, Iraq, McGinnis used his body to smother a grenade, saving the
lives of four fellow soldiers. McGinnis died from the blast.

McGinnis, 19, was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, which is attached to
2nd BCT.

Only one soldier and one Marine have received the Medal of Honor since the beginning of the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, and there has been debate about why there have been so few recipients of the
nation’s highest award for valor.

McGinnis’ family will have a memorial service for him at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in
Knox, Pa. His remains will later be transferred to Arlington National Cemetery.

According to information provided Tuesday by Multi-National Division-Baghdad, McGinnis was manning
the gunner’s hatch when an insurgent tossed a grenade from above. The grenade flew past McGinnis
and down through the hatch before lodging near the radio.

His platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas, was in the vehicle at the time.

McGinnis “yelled, ‘Grenade. … It’s in the truck,’” Thomas said. “I looked out of the corner of my eye as I
was crouching down and I saw him pin it down.”

McGinnis could have escaped the blast, Thomas said. “He had time to jump out of the truck,” he said.
“He chose not to. He gave his life to save his crew and his platoon sergeant. He’s a hero.”

Three of the soldiers in the vehicle with McGinnis suffered minor injuries. Two of them have returned to
duty. The fourth soldier is recovering in Germany.

McGinnis was approved Monday for a Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for valor, according
to a press release from MND-B. In it, he was referred to as a private first class. His company commander,
Capt. Michael Baka, had signed a waiver to promote McGinnis the morning he died. McGinnis was
posthumously promoted to specialist, Baka said.
Spc. Ross A. McGinnis
United States Army
National Medal of Honor
Silver Star

March 25, 2009
SFC Timothy D. Boyd
I just wanted to say thank you and it's been a blessing knowing you and your family. Take care and may
the Lord continue to wrap you in His loving arms...God bless you and your family.

September 23, 2008
Wren Thomas:
Hand Salute to a fine young man. May he rest in eternal

June 12, 2008

June 11, 2008
-David Rauber
I would like to thank Ross and all the fallen hero's
that have so bravely giving their all to America. You are true heroes and
will never be forgotten. Ross showed he had as much courage as anyone
that has ever worn a uniform in combat.

June 9, 2008
Linda Greene
Since I heard the story of your Son.  My heart has just
ached for you and your family.  My Son is also a US Army Soldier.  I
pray for you daily and I am so deeply in depthed to your Son for the
courage he bestowed on that day.  I am so grateful that there are Men like
him protecting our nation.  May God bless you and your family and keep
you in the palm of his hand.
Linda Greene

June 8, 2008
Richard Smith
Mere word cannot convey the words of honor that you
deserve for your unselfish act of valor.  "Greater love hath no man than
this, to give up his life for that of another".  I and many, many others
appreciate the sacrifice that this brave man made to help others stay
alive.  May you sit at the throne of God and know peace. Thank you

June 3, 2008
M. Schaffer
To the McGinnis family--Today I learned of the great
and courageous sacrifice Ross McGinnis gave for his country and his
fellow soldiers.  A radio show dedicated an hour talking about Ross.  As a
mother of a young son, I was saddened by news of your loss.  Between the
tears must also be the pride in knowing what kind of man your son was.
May God bless you and may the memories of your child pull you through
those lonely days.   

June 2, 2008
Heather Hand
Spc. McGinnis
You well earned every medal that has been awarded to you.  You
unselfishly gave your life for those who were with you to live. I know that you
are in Heaven looking down & protecting those who loved you while you
were here on Earth.  
Heather Hand

May 31, 2008
Tim McCall
Spc. Ross A. McGinnis
I pray for the friends and family you left behind.
May their grief and sorrow be replaced in time with happiness and joy.
The biggest price our country pays is losing fine young men like you.
May the men you saved carry you in their hearts and live their lives
as a memorial to your heroism.
I really appreciated reading the article where you dad was interviewed
and he attempted to put a human face on you. With your faults and goodness
for all to see. I looked at your Myspace page. It really touched me deeply.
Every man we lose has a family and loved ones. Hopes, dreams and aspirations.
Reading about you really brought it close to home for me.
When I read about your friends daughter remembering you in her prayers every night, it brought me to
Thank you for your sacrifice Ross. May you be blessed in heaven.
Timothy McCall
Former Corporal
US Marines
Veteran - Beirut Multi-National Peacekeeping Force

Jan 4, 2008
SFC Rod Brewer
Christmas in Arlington.... Rest easy, sleep well my
brother. Know the line has held, your job is done. Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held. Peace, peace,
and farewell..... Ross, You Will Not Be Forgotten.... If anyone deserved
the Silver Star. If I had been one to decide from the write-ups... You
would have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Salud...
Salud... Salud... Rod.

July 31, 2007
Mary Tsukalas

Though I did not know Ross, I was touched by the heroism of this young soldier. I would like to draw a
portrait of Ross for the family at no charge, that they may have a special piece of
artwork to honor him. Some of my work can be seen at

May God watch over Ross and his family. Mary

July 15, 2007
Stephanie Wright
In Honor Of  SPC Ross A McGinnis
Ross' sacrifice is one that we are trying to keep alive through the sales of lanterns that are insigniated
with his name approved by his family.  We have been raising funds "in his name" to go toward helping
others who have bravely served our country.  
If you are interested in making a donation in Ross' name... please
email me at-
stephaniewrightathome@yahoo.com or contact helpamericafoundation.org and be sure to
mention SPC Ross A McGinnis' name.

We only have a little ways to go to meet the family's goal of $10,000
in donations.  If you wish to have one of these lanterns... please contact me.  For a $5 donation... 100% of
the gift goes toward Ross' Fund.

Thank you for your support.

February 13, 2007
Leslie Alexander

Thank you for your sacrifice.  You will never be forgotten. May your family know your country's gratitude,
and may you rest in perfect happiness.

Jan 3, 2006
Morgan Campbell

My remembrance goes out to every solider. When I heard about SPC Ross McGinnis it hit me hard.
Nothing has ever happen like this to someone this close to home. Being in the air force and getting
ready to deploy myself, you want everyone to know how much you love them.

Ross is a true hero for what he has done, by serving his country and
saving his fellow solidiers. He is an example that everyone should

As the lantern we have purchased in memory of SPC Ross McGinnis says
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man down his life for his

Jan 1, 2007
Al Philo ,VP Friends of the Forgotten

What can one say, other than "Thank you for your service and sacrifice for your Country, and your fellow
servicemen. You will not be forgotten.

"Let's say a prayer to the Lord Above, that they'll all be home next year, and may the bells of piece ring
out across the land". Quoted from Charlie Daniels.
Spc. Ross McGinnis was
posthumously awarded the Medal
of Honor in a White House
ceremony June 2, two weeks shy
of what would have been his 21st