Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Common Name, Uncommon Valor
OpinionJournal ^ | March 29, 2006 | RALPH KINNEY BENNETT

Posted on 03/29/2006 4:51:22 AM PST by oldtimer2

Common Name, Uncommon Valor

BY RALPH KINNEY BENNETT March 29,2006

Since his days growing up in Tampa, Fla., the lanky kid had wanted to be a soldier. By this bright morning, April 4, 2003, Sgt. First Class Paul Ray Smith had more than fulfilled his dream. He had served 15 of his 33 years in the U.S. Army, including three tours of duty in harm's way--in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Now all his training, all his experience, all the instincts that had made him a model soldier, were about to be put to the test. With 16 men from his First Platoon, B Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, Sgt. Smith was under attack by about 100 troops of the Iraqi Republican Guard.

"We're in a world of hurt," he muttered.

A chaplain and a sergeant in dress uniforms came to Birgit Smith's home near Fort Stewart, Ga., late on the night of April 4 to break the terrible news.

"Our name is so common," she said, tears welling up in her eyes. "Maybe it's a mistake."

There was no mistake. Paul Ray Smith had given his life protecting his men and his position. He had almost single-handedly blunted an overwhelming attack.

"There are two ways to come home, stepping off the plane and being carried off the plane," Sgt. Smith had written in an unsent email to his parents. "It doesn't matter how I come home, because I am prepared to give all that I am to insure that all my boys make it home."

On April 4, 2005, exactly two years after his selfless action, his wife and their children David and Jessica stood in the White House as President Bush presented them the nation's highest decoration for bravery, the Medal of Honor.

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: floridasbest; ourheroes; paulraysmith; thankssgtsmith; ultimatesacrifice
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-26 next last
In every previous war, this kind of story would have been posted in every newspaper in the U.S. Why can't the major media at least give us stories about the bravery of common men doing acts of uncommon valor. Please read the whole story and shed a tear for all opf our fallen soldiers and marines.
1 posted on 03/29/2006 4:51:24 AM PST by oldtimer2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: oldtimer2
Why can't the major media at least give us stories about the bravery

Do we tout the bravery shown by individual jihadis? Certainly not. It is unnatural to praise enemies and MSM is true to its principles and ideals. It will not praise those it sees as mortal enemies.

2 posted on 03/29/2006 4:58:13 AM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than here.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oldtimer2; Freee-dame

Take a few minutes to read this. I remember seeing Paul Smith's widow, son and daughter at the White House when President Bush presented Paul Jr with the Medal. The photos must still be around. I hope someone adds them to this thread.


3 posted on 03/29/2006 5:02:35 AM PST by maica (You are being lied to. By elements in the media determined that Iraq must fail. - Ralph Peters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: maica

4 posted on 03/29/2006 7:31:58 AM PST by gate2wire
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: maica

5 posted on 03/29/2006 7:34:08 AM PST by gate2wire
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: maica

All I can find right now.

6 posted on 03/29/2006 7:36:13 AM PST by gate2wire
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ken5050; trooprally; StarCMC; SandRat

Ping


7 posted on 03/29/2006 7:37:55 AM PST by gate2wire
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

Joe, please ping out this story of a Florida hero. Rest in Peace, Sgt. Smith.


8 posted on 03/29/2006 7:40:39 AM PST by NonValueAdded ("If I were a Cuban, I'd certainly be on a raft," Isane Aparicio Busto)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oldtimer2

REST IN PEACE
SGT. PAUL RAY SMITH
LOST IN IRAQ
MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT
POSTUMOUSLY
YOU ARE MY HERO


9 posted on 03/29/2006 7:43:35 AM PST by LUV W (A free Iraq . ... will serve as an amazing example for people who are desparate for freedom! GWB)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oldtimer2

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to
Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith
United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smiths extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division Rock of the Marne, and the United States Army.
http://www.medalofhonor.com/PaulSmithCeremony.htm


10 posted on 03/29/2006 7:47:39 AM PST by gate2wire
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oldtimer2; NonValueAdded; 2LT Radix jr; 359Henrie; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; ...

Bump and ping


11 posted on 03/29/2006 7:48:34 AM PST by StarCMC (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing...thank you Sarge.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gate2wire; ohioWfan

Thanks very much for adding the photos.

oWf, I wonder if this thread and article deserve an extra ping to the Daily Dose crowd? We need to spread the positive stories as far as we can.


12 posted on 03/29/2006 7:58:42 AM PST by maica (You are being lied to. By elements in the media determined that Iraq must fail. - Ralph Peters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: StarCMC

May he rest in peace.

13 posted on 03/29/2006 8:00:15 AM PST by beachn4fun ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered".......(Thomas Paine))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: JulieRNR21; kinganamort; katherineisgreat; floriduh voter; summer; Goldwater Girl; windchime; ...
Florida Freeper

I'm compiling a list of FReepers interested in Florida-related topics.
If you want to be added, please FReepMail me.


14 posted on 03/29/2006 8:00:29 AM PST by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism. *NRA*)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: StarCMC
BTTT

Thanks for the bumps and pings.:-D

15 posted on 03/29/2006 8:06:04 AM PST by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

Thanks Joe for the ping. Major tissue alert.


16 posted on 03/29/2006 8:06:59 AM PST by poobear (Islam - A Global Lynch Mob !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: oldtimer2; NonValueAdded

TAPS

RIP SFC Paul Ray Smith


Amazing Grace

17 posted on 03/29/2006 8:26:26 AM PST by Kathy in Alaska (~ www.ProudPatriots.org ~ Operation Easter and Passover ~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LUV W

Amen


18 posted on 03/29/2006 9:41:33 AM PST by MEG33 ( GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MEG33

bump


19 posted on 03/29/2006 11:00:15 AM PST by gate2wire
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: oldtimer2

Tampa BTTT


20 posted on 03/29/2006 11:19:42 AM PST by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-26 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson