Bronze Star Recipient Home From Iraq - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/29/05 - Nacogdoches

Bronze Star Recipient Home From Iraq

by Donna McCollum

Sergeant First Class Christopher McGinnis spent seven months on the streets of western Baghdad gathering counter intelligence. McGinnis is among the select few given the dangerous assignment. He was a leader for a Tactical Human Intelligence Team. According to his Bronze Star narrative he played a decisive role in finding people on the 'Black List'.

McGinnis explained, "Through my team's work we were able to locate some of these insurgents they were looking for and pass that information on to them and in return they were able to capture them and take them off the streets."

McGinnis worked the same Baghdad streets day and night. "You never really trust anybody, but you have to build a rapport with them," said McGinnis.

McGinnis executed 180 successful missions. He faced Improvised Explosive Devices or IED's everyday. Direct hits came first in November and then a very close call in March. "I was in the gunner's hatch and this is where the shrapnel actually penetrated through the piece of armor that went over my head," showed McGinnis on a picture taken of the combat vehicle.

Cindy McGinnis recalls the day she almost lost her husband and the father of their three children. "I said a couple of quick prayers and was like you need to get farther down in that hole." Now there is more and better armor around the gunner's hatch than what McGinnis had on his combat vehicle.

McGinnis received the prestigious Order of the Combat Spur from The 2nd Battalion of the 12th Calvary Regiment. "These are made of brass from spent ammo during Operation Iraqi Freedom," said McGinnis.

McGinnis was proud to serve, but now the firefighter-paramedic is glad to be home providing service of another kind to his community and family.

If the law stays the same McGinnis can't be called back for four years.

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