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Aug. 04, 2015  War on Terror   Transformation   News Products   Press Resources   Images   Websites   Contact Us 
Arlington Ceremony Salutes Medal of Honor Recipient
WASHINGTON, April 6, 2005 - At the foot of a hill crowned by trees and dappled by bright sunlight, the family of a certified hero unveiled a gold-lettered memorial headstone April 5 in Arlington National Cemetery.
The day before, the young widow and her two children accepted the hero’s Medal of Honor from the president. Just before they came to the cemetery, they’d seen him enshrined in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. Now, the family of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith - his widow, Birgit, and their two children, Jessica and David - unveiled his memorial stone before a small company of family and friends.

Smith was killed in a firefight with Saddam Hussein’s forces at Baghdad International Airport on April 4, 2003, while saving the lives of more than 100 fellow soldiers. His Medal of Honor - the nation’s highest award for valor in combat - is the first awarded for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terror. Story | Photos

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ARLINGTON CEMETERY – Shortly after unveiling her late husband’s new headstone, Birgit Smith visits his grave April 5, 2005, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. Smith’s husband, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, was mortally wounded saving his platoon in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is the first soldier to receive the Medal of Honor in the conflict. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Reeba Critser  More Photos
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PENTAGON CEREMONY – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld speaks to the audience gathered at the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon on April 5, 2005, in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith. U.S. Army photo by Leroy Council More Photos
Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith Inducted Into Hall of Heroes
WASHINGTON, April 5, 2005 – A modern hero joined an elite group of warriors - Medal of Honor recipients whose valor, sacrifice and selfless service to the nation are immortalized in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. Story | Photos
President Presents First Medal For Gallantry Against Terror
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2005 – Two years to the day after his father died saving more than 100 fellow soldiers in the battle for Baghdad’s airport, the young son of an Army noncommissioned officer accepted his father’s Medal of Honor from President Bush at a White House ceremony. Story  | Photos
A Real Soldier's Soldier
WASHINGTON, April 6, 2005 - Over the past two days, I have spent quite a bit of time with the family of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith. His German-born wife Birgit, their son, David, and their adopted daughter, Jessica, arrived in town April 3. Members of his extended family from Germany also are here, plus a handful of his fellow soldiers who served with him in Iraq. Story
Related Stories / Links
 U.S. Army Special Page
 President Bush Speech
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WHITE HOUSE CEREMONY – David Smith cradles the Medal of Honor presented to him on behalf of his father Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith by President George W. Bush at the White House, on April 4, 2005. Defense Department photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen  More Photos
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