U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (TX-01) today, along with several other Members of Congress, sent a letter to Chief Legislative Liaison in the office of the Secretary of the Army recommending Army Specialist Ross A. McGinnis for the Medal of Honor.
Specialist McGinnis gave his life to save four fellow soldiers - two of which, Private First Class Sean Lawson and Sergeant First Class Cedric Thomas - hail from Tyler and Longview, respectively.
According to information provided by the 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. McGinnis alerted the other soldiers and, although he had time to jump out of the truck, he smothered the grenade with his body and subsequently died from the blast while saving the lives of his crew and Platoon Sergeant.
The letter reads in part:
"It is without reservation that this letter is sent to recommend Army Specialist Ross A. McGinnis of Knox, Pennsylvania for the Medal of Honor. As you well know, the Medal of Honor is given by the President, in the name of Congress, to those who distinguish themselves "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity...while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States." It is our firm conviction that Specialist McGinnis is a hero of that caliber.
On December 4, 2006 Specialist Ross A. McGinnis gave his life to save four of his fellow Soldiers: Sergeant Lyle Buehler of Westgate, Iowa, Private First Class Sean Lawson of Tyler, Texas, Staff Sergeant Ian Newland of Pipestone, Minnesota and Sergeant First Class Cedric Thomas of Longview, Texas... My colleagues and I, who represent the men and families of those saved, join SFC Thomas, the people of our congressional Districts and SPC McGinnis' commanding officer in wholeheartedly recommending that SPC McGinnis receive the Medal of Honor.
Wars are never easy affairs; it is heart-wrenching to see and hear the reports of the dead and wounded. Were it not for the bravery and sacrifice of men and women such as SPC McGinnis, our casualty lists would only be longer. This country was built on the actions of such heroes and has been sustained throughout history by patriots like them. Such sacrifices should always be honored and remembered by those of us who reap their benefits. SPC McGinnis' love of our country and his comrades in arms is a humbling testimony to his character and courage. Every generation has its heroes who will forever be commemorated for their service to our country and we are proud to recognize SPC McGinnis among those ranks..."