McGinnis to receive Medal of Honor By Michelle Tan - Staff writer Posted : Friday Apr 25, 2008 16:54:10 EDT Spc. Ross McGinnis, who was killed Dec. 4, 2006, in Iraq when he smothered a grenade with his body, will receive the Medal of Honor, sources told Army Times. McGinnis, 19, is the second soldier to receive the nationâs highest valor award for actions while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who was killed April 4, 2003, fighting off insurgents in a fierce firefight south of Baghdad, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor two years after he died. McGinnis, of 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, is credited with saving the lives of four fellow soldiers. On Dec. 4, 2006, McGinnis was manning the turret in the last Humvee of a six-vehicle patrol in Adhamiyah in northeast Baghdad when an insurgent threw a grenade from the roof of a nearby building. âGrenade!â yelled McGinnis, who was manning the vehicle's M2 .50-caliber machine gun. McGinnis, facing backwards because he was in the rear vehicle, tried to deflect the grenade but it fell into the Humvee and lodged between the radios. As he stood up to get ready to jump out of the vehicle, as he had been trained to do, McGinnis realized the other four soldiers in the Humvee did not know where the grenade had landed and did not have enough time to escape. McGinnis, a native of Knox, Pa., threw his back against the radio mount, where the grenade was lodged, and smothered the explosive with his body. The grenade exploded, hitting McGinnis on his sides and lower back, under his vest. He was killed instantly. The other four men survived. McGinnis, who was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, will be honored during a ceremony at the White House. The ceremony is expected to take place sometime in June. Itâs longstanding Army policy not to comment on the status of Medal of Honor nominations. The sources who confirmed the information to Army Times asked to remain anonymous. When contacted by Army Times, McGinnisâs parents declined to comment. In addition to McGinnis and Smith, two other service members have received the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq: Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham and Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor. Only one Medal of Honor has been awarded for actions in Afghanistan, to Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL. Each of those awards was presented posthumously.