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Ross McGinnis Fallen Hero:
The Ross McGinnis Story

An OnQ Special Report

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Few people would have predicted "greatness" for Ross Andrew McGinnis. As a teenager, he'd had minor brushes with police, and was a marginal student at Keystone High School in Knox, Pennsylvania. But after joining the Army, Private First Class McGinnis hit his stride and found a new confidence in the military.

On December 4, 2006, McGinnis was the gunner in the last of six Humvees patrolling a Baghdad neighborhood, when an insurgent threw a grenade into his vehicle. Instead of jumping to safety, McGinnis apparently realized his four comrades in the Humvee had no chance of escape. He rolled onto the grenade, absorbed the blast and died instantly. The four other men in the Humvee survived. McGinnis, age 19 at the time of his death, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Citing the young soldier's unforgettable sacrifice and bravery, President George W. Bush presented the Medal of Honor to McGinnis's parents at a White House ceremony in June 2008.

This OnQ special report chronicles the life of Ross Andrew McGinnis as told by his parents, friends and the caring people in his hometown of Knox, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. It is brought to you by the Emmy-winning team of writer/producer David Solomon, photographer/editor Paul Ruggieri, and OnQ host Michael Bartley.

Related Links
First Division Museum at Cantigny
Arlington National Cemetery
Village To Village Foundation


Ross McGinnis
"When the time came that he had to prove whether or not he could do the right thing, and it counted for everything, he did the right thing."
- Tom McGinnis, Ross's father.

Ross McGinnis comrades
"When someone gives you their life, can you thank them enough? is that possible?"
- Staff Sergeant Ian Newland (left), one of four soldiers who survived the grenade blast.

Ross McGinnis Medal of Honor ceremony
"May God always watch over the country he served, and keep us ever grateful for the life of Ross Andrew McGinnis."
- President George W. Bush at Medal of Honor ceremony.

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