Knox Soldier to Receive Medal of Honor

The White House says a Pennsylvania soldier who jumped on top of a grenade in Iraq and saved the life of his comrades will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor. The honor will be given to Pfc. Ross McGinnis, of Knox on June 2. Military officials have said McGinnis was perched in the gunner's hatch of a Humvee when a grenade sailed past him and into the truck where four other soldiers sat. He shouted a warning to the others, then jumped on the grenade. It blew up and killed him. The 19-year-old McGinnis was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in Schweinfurt, Germany. He died on Dec. 4, 2006. Congressman John Peterson issued the following statement:

“It is with deep gratitude, and sorrow, that I recognize the selfless act Ross McGinnis performed on December 4, 2006. This young man, just 19 years old, was a soldier’s soldier, who enlisted in the Army to fight for causes larger than any individual: freedom and liberty. Ross gave his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers – an act nothing short of heroic. This courageous act not only defined Spc. McGinnis as a soldier, but it is also a testament to his rural Pennsylvania upbringing, where love for country runs deep.

“Born and raised in the small Clarion County town of Knox, Ross was a high-spirited son, brother, and a friend to many. He had a contagious sense of humor and a trademark smile that lit up every room he entered. Spc. McGinnis is now etched into American history where he will always be remembered for his strong sense of duty to serve his country and his unmatched selflessness.

“I look forward to welcoming the McGinnis family to Washington on June 2 for a White House ceremony where President Bush will award Ross the nation’s highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.”

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