Gallant Pennsylvanians in Somalia, Iraq

I’ve written before about Pennsylvania’s Medal of Honor recipients, and now I’ll bring you up to date. Since the Vietnam War, two men from the state have received the nation’s highest military award for valor, both posthumously.

Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart of Newville, Cumberland County, was honored for his heroism Oct. 3, 1993, while serving with Army Special Operations Command, Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Mark Bowden’s 1999 book Black Hawk Down tells the story. I have the book but haven’t read it yet. I did, however, read about Shughart when portions were published as a series in The Philadelphia Inquirer, where Bowden worked.

The other was Ross A. McGinnis for his bravery in Iraq on Dec. 4, 2006. McGinnis, of Knox, Clarion County, was then an Army private first class with C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. You can read about his deeds in Baghdad at

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