#EveryNameTellsAStory Ross McGinnis told his kindergarten teacher that he wanted to be an "Army Man" when he grew up. Throughout his school years in Pennsylvania, he was a Boy Scout, Little League Baseball Player and a member of the YMCA basketball team. In his free time, he liked to play video games, mountain bike, work on cars and had a part-time job at McDonald's.
He never wavered in his desire to be a Soldier. On his 17th birthday, he joined the Army and began his training at Fort Benning. Ross was deployed to Iraq and served as a machine gunner in a Humvee. His convoy was attacked on Dec. 4, 2006 when an insurgent threw a grenade through the gunner's hatch into Ross's vehicle. Reacting quickly, Ross yelled "grenade," allowing all four members of his crew to prepare for the blast. Ross made the courageous decision to throw his body on top of the grenade. At age 19, he was killed instantly but saved his fellow Soldiers from serious injury or death.
Private McGinnis was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, our country's highest decoration for "extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty." His actions of heroism and courage are honored with a plaque in the rotunda of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. His parents, Tom and Romayne McGinnis, attended a dedication ceremony at the museum on June 14, 2009, which would have been their son's 22nd birthday.
The new Global War on Terrorism Memorial will be dedicated October 16, 2017. The memorial, now under construction, will include eight granite panels etched with the names of nearly 7,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have died in service since 9/11. A 13-foot steel beam taken from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and donated to the museum by New York City firefighters will sit atop concrete columns representing the Twin Towers. The memorial also will feature nine bronze figures representing an Infantry squad, illustrations of each service’s role in protecting our nation, and narrative panels chronicling the nation’s longest war. The center figure will represent Private McGinnis.
Donations made will allow the National