Medal of Honor recipient honored with bronze statue - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Medal of Honor recipient honored with bronze statue

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FORT STEWART (WTOC) -

A true American hero with the Third ID was honored with a Medal of Honor sculpture acceptance ceremony on Friday at the Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith Education center.

The bronze bust was unveiled at the center bearing his name in the presence of friends, family and fellow soldiers.

"When you ask a soldier why they do what they do, they will tell you they do it for each other," said Maj. Gen. Mike Murray, Commander of the Third ID. "And I'm absolutely convinced although I was not there, that was what Sgt. 1st Class Smith did that day. His actions were not for the love of the country, although I'm sure that was a piece of it, he did it for the soldiers around him"

On April 4, 2003, Sgt. 1st Class Smith, a leader with Bravo Company 11th Engineer Battalion, distinguished himself by going above and beyond the call of duty while in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport.

Smith manned a .50 calliber machine gun in a crippled armored personnel carrier and fired hundreds of rounds, stopping enemy advances and protecting fellow soldiers and holding the position.

For his actions, Smith was posthumously awarded the nation's highest medal for valor in combat, the Medal of Honor.

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