NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD Ross Andrew McGinnis could have saved himself when an enemy hand grenade dropped through the gunner’s hatch of his Humvee on December 4, 2004. Instead, he shouted a warning to the other four soldiers in the vehicle, which was on patrol in Baghdad during the Iraq War. McGinnis then pressed the grenade against his body, taking the brunt of the blast, which killed him. “He had time to jump out of the truck,” Platoon Sergeant Cedric Thomas said. “He chose not to. He’s a hero. He was just an awesome guy.” President George W. Bush presented the Silver Star and the Medal of Honor to members of the McGinnis family. “Four men are alive because this soldier embodied our Army values and gave his life,” the president said.

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