Like every one of the men and women in uniform who have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sergeant Paul Smith was a volunteer. We thank his family for the father, husband and son and brother who can never be replaced. We recall with appreciation the fellow soldiers whose lives he saved, and the many more he inspired. And we express our gratitude for a new generation of Americans, every bit as selfless and dedicated to liberty as any that has gone on before -- a dedication exemplified by the sacrifice and valor of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith. (Transcript)
President George W. Bush
April 4, 2005
More of the President's remarks on Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith and the Medal of Honor.
Sergeant Smith was leading about three dozen men who were using a courtyard next to a watchtower to build a temporary jail for captured enemy prisoners. As they were cleaning the courtyard, they were surprised by about a hundred of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard.
With complete disregard for his own life and under constant enemy fire, Sergeant Smith rallied his men and led a counterattack. Seeing that his wounded men were in danger of being overrun, and that enemy fire from the watchtower had pinned them down, Sergeant Smith manned a 50-caliber machine gun atop a damaged armor vehicle. From a completely exposed position, he killed as many as 50 enemy soldiers as he protected his men.
Sergeant Smith's leadership saved the men in the courtyard, and he prevented an enemy attack on the aid station just up the road. Sergeant Smith continued to fire and took a -- until he took a fatal round to the head. His actions in that courtyard saved the lives of more than 100 American soldiers.
5 April 05 The family of Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith will join Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at a Pentagon ceremony today at 11:00 a.m. EDT to add his name to the ranks of those who have received the Medal of Honor. The ceremony, from the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, will be carried live via streaming video on www.Army.mil. Giant screen televisions will be erected in the Pentagon Concourse to handle the overflow crowd. Viewers can also watch the event live on the Pentagon Channel (13 & 18)
SFC Paul R. Smith will also be remembered at a public ceremony later today at Arlington National Cemetery.
Army Rodeo Update, Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, Austin, TX:
- Cowgirl Brittany Pozzi placed 1st in the Barrel Racing finals with a time of 14.84 seconds.
- Cowboy Cody "Hot Sauce" DeMoss placed 1st in the Saddle Bronc finals, scoring 90 points on Secret Agent.
- Cowboy Zack Oakes placed 3rd in the Bull Riding finals and rode Smokeless War Dance.