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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Last Full Measure of Devotion 

Exactly two years ago Monday, SSG Paul Smith, a 33-year-old who grew up in Tampa, stood in a hatch, firing a .50-caliber machine gun to hold off a large force of Iraqi soldiers.

"Keep me loaded," Smith yelled.

While his men made it to safety, Smith kept up the fight. Then, suddenly, he slumped in the personnel carrier, mortally wounded by an Iraqi bullet. For his bravery that day, Smith on Monday was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bush. Link

We honor his service and are mindful of his sacrifice.


The Medal of Honor for Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith. Awarded posthumously Monday, April 4, 2005, during ceremonies at the White House.


Eleven-year-old David Smith looks solemnly towards the audience as he and his step-sister Jessica, left, hold their mom's hands during ceremonies Monday, April 4, 2005, at the White House. David's father, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, was honored posthumously by President Bush with the Medal of Honor, the first presented for service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


David Smith, 11-year-old son of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, holds his father's Medal of Honor, awarded Monday, April 4, 2005, by President Bush during ceremonies at the White House. Looking on are Smith's wife, Birgit, and step-daughter Jessica.



David Smith, 11-year-old son of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, holds his father's Medal of Honor, awarded Monday, April 4, 2005, posthumously by President Bush during ceremonies at the White House.


A soldier plays "Taps" for Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., April 5, 2005.


Birgit Smith visits her husband's memorial headstone April 5, 2005, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va.


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speaks to the audience gathered at the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon, April 5, 2005


Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith was posthumously inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes at a ceremony April 5. President Bush awarded the Medal of Honor to Smith's family in White House ceremonies April 4. Smith is the first to receive the military's highest award for his actions in the war on terror.

Rest In Peace SFC Paul R.Smith, USA


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