Thompson Honors Ross McGinnis at Pittsburgh Ceremony

May 19, 2009
Press Release

Pittsburgh—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard,  said today, “Generals and privates alike say that more often than not, soldiers fight for their buddies, not for some policy, goal, or skirmish line set by politicians.  There can be no greater example of that than the story of Ross Andrew McGinnis.  Four men will live on to enjoy their families and their futures because Ross McGinnis gave his life for his friends.”

 McGinnis of Knox, Pennsylvania, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom by President George Bush on June 2, 2008.  The official citation reads in part, “In a selfless act of bravery, in which he was mortally wounded, Private McGinnis covered the live grenade, pinning it between his body and the vehicle and absorbing most of the explosion.”

In his remarks on Monday, May 18th at the Pittsburgh Military Entrance Processing Station, Thompson asked, “Where do we get such men and women? What inspires them to say, `Here am I. Send me.’”

At today’s ceremony, a room was dedicated as the Ross Andrew McGinnis oath room and a Soldier’s Creed was unveiled.

Thompson said of McGinnis, “His life and his sacrifice will serve as an example to the men and women who enter this facility to become part of the U.S. military.  I believe they will take time to honor his memory and put true thought into the words of the oath of allegiance they will swear in this room.”

McGinnis’ parents Tom and Romayne McGinnis were at the event.  Thompson spoke directly to them when he said, “My son was injured in Iraq when an IED exploded and he took shrapnel to both legs in 2007.  After recuperation, he went back to Iraq in late March 2008.  Now stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, he still bears the wounds of that day.  From the Thompson military family to the McGinnis military family, we are proud of your son, a true American hero, and we know his sacrifice was your sacrifice as well.”

Taking part in the ceremony besides the McGinnis family and Thompson were:  Colonel Barrye Price, Commander Eastern Sector, U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command and Major Jeffrey Gunn, Commander, Pittsburgh Military Entrance Processing Station.