SGT. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith: Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith Received the Medal of Honor Posthumously during a White House Ceremony, April 4, 2005

Soldiers Magazine, March 2010 | Go to article overview

SGT. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith: Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith Received the Medal of Honor Posthumously during a White House Ceremony, April 4, 2005


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

PAUL Ray Smith was born on Sept. 24, 1969, in El Paso, Texas. At the age of nine, his family moved to South Tampa, Fla., where he attended public schools. He enjoyed sports, liked cats, skateboarding, riding bicycles, and playing pranks with friends and his younger sister, Lisa. He particularly enjoyed football, which instilled the importance of being part of a team and motivated the growth of his natural leadership abilities.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

He developed an interest in carpentry while in high school and was employed part time as a carpenter assistant. Paul Ray had an interest in old cars--he enjoyed taking things apart to see how they worked. He restored a dune buggy with a friend. He liked to collect things from the sea, rocks in general and marbles. His family remembered that as far back as they could recall, when anyone would ask what he wanted to do as an adult, he always said, "I want to be a Soldier, get married and have kids."

Upon graduating in 1988 from Tampa Bay Vocational Technical High School, he joined the Army and attended Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. As his mother wrote in his biography for a dedication ceremony in Orlando: "He had begun living his dream ... he was assigned to Germany, met and married his wife, Birgit, had two children, and was doing what he was born to do ... lead American Soldiers...."

Smith joined the 11th Engineer Battalion in 1999, and immediately be came an integral part of Bravo Company. When he deployed with his platoon to Kosovo in May 2001, as part of the KFOR 3A rotation, Smith was responsible for daily presence patrols in the highly populated town of Gnjilane. In the spring of 2002, he was promoted to sergeant first class and completed the Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course in August 2002.

In January 2003, Smith returned from leave to prepare his men for rapid deployment to Kuwait as part of the 3rd Infantry Division's buildup for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Smith took a strict approach to training his men, ensuring that his platoon was proficient in handling weapons and prepared for urban combat.

Bravo Company crossed the border on March 19, and traveled more than 300 kilometers in the first 48 hours of the war as part of the lead company in support of Task Force 2-7 Infantry. Passing through the Karbala Gap, Smith and his men pushed through the night of April 3, 2003, toward Baghdad Airport where Bravo Company, 11th Engineer Battalion of Task Force 2-7 were involved in a firelight with Iraqi forces.

Smith's personal character is best described through some anecdotes his sister related in a speech about her brother:

"Paul Ray had an incredible love for the troops under his command. One Christmas, the wife of a Soldier in Paul Rays platoon had just had surgery and the Soldier and his wife were unable to provide a Christmas for their family. So, Paul Ray collected food from the company Christmas party, and he and Birgit bought presents for the children, and they took them to the Soldier's home. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

SGT. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith: Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith Received the Medal of Honor Posthumously during a White House Ceremony, April 4, 2005
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.