SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - You don't know the name Paul R. Smith so let me help you with that by introducing you to his family.
"When you do something like my dad did," David, his son, said. And his wife Birgit, "and I told the soldier there must be a mistake." And his mom, Janice, "as long as my soldiers get home it doesn't matter what happens to me."
Paul, "Smitty", was a sergeant in the 3rd Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was, like thousands of other 3rd ID soldiers and their families, a familiar figure around Hinesville and Savannah.
In 2003, he was a part of a force caught in a firefight with the Iraqi army. Under fire, Sgt. Smith manned a 50-caliber on a vehicle positioned between his men and the enemy. Told to come down he refused and kept shooting, buying time and saving the lives of the soldiers under his command, until his life was taken by the enemy.
Sgt. Paul R. Smith was awarded the congressional medal of honor, the first in the war on terror.
Consider This: This week we mark Veteran's Day as well as the centennial of the 3rd Infantry Division.
We honor the men and women who have fought in the deserts of Iraq, the bitter cold of Europe and Korea, the jungles of Vietnam. What they did and do is a model of service and sacrifice for our nation, a sacrifice exemplified in a medal of honor winner, a sergeant first class, a soldier from Ft. Stewart nicknamed "Smitty".