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RamTech 09-11-2010 05:54 PM

First Living MOH Receipient From War On Terror
WASHINGTON An Army sergeant who exposed himself to intense enemy fire in an effort to save comrades in Afghanistan will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration, the White House announced Friday.
Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, 25, will become the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Six medals of honor have been awarded posthumously from those conflicts.
Giunta will receive the award for his actions in response to an ambush in Afghanistan's dangerous Korengal Valley on Oct. 25, 2007. Two U.S. soldiers were killed in the ambush and several others were wounded.
Giunta of Hiawatha, Iowa, was serving at the time as a team leader in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment when his squad was ambushed by insurgents, according to an account provided by the Army. His rank was specialist at the time.
Intense enemy fire from insurgents split Giunta's team from the rest of his squad. Giunta was knocked down when a bullet hit him in his armored chest plate. He immediately charged straight into enemy fire in order to pull a comrade back to cover.

As he attempted to link his team with the rest of the squad, he saw insurgents drag a badly wounded colleague off the battlefield.
Tossing hand grenades, Giunta charged the enemy, killing one insurgent and wounding another. He recovered the colleague and immediately began providing first aid. The soldier later died from his wounds.
It was Giunta's second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had previously been awarded the Bronze Star.
"His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands," the White House said in a statement.
President Obama spoke to Giunta on Thursday to inform the paratrooper of his decision.

CajunDodge 09-11-2010 06:04 PM

There are no words to describe that, so anything I would say would sound trite, but God Bless a true AMERICAN HERO!!!! Very well deserved award and to be there to receive it is fantastic!!! :smileup:

- Cajun

RamTech 09-11-2010 06:09 PM

There are fewer than 100 MOH recipients still living today and I would venture a guess that SSG Guinta is the only one still in uniform.

RootBeer 09-11-2010 06:21 PM

He is the first living recipient since Viet Nam. There were more announced at the same for soldiers who didn't make it.

RamTech 09-11-2010 06:32 PM

Out of all the MOH citations I've read, MSG Roy P. Benavidez's is the one that stands out the most in my mind. I have to think this man was the inspiration for John Rambo. There is a pretty good article about him on Wikipedia that includes his MOH citation.

Two others that really hit home for me were SFC Randall Shugart and MSG Gary Gordon. These men were the two Delta snipers that went in to provide security for Super 64 after it was shot down during the Battle of Mogadishu. They had to know their chances of survival were slim to none but they went in anyway and saved the life of pilot CW3 Michael Durant.

iRESQu 09-11-2010 07:11 PM

Wow, total selflessness. What true valor, dedication, committment and sacrifice all these men made. Thank you Randy.

dodgeman70592 09-11-2010 08:14 PM

Wow, just wow. I am in awe...

Haze Gray 09-11-2010 09:04 PM

Damn, talk about Army strong! Congratulations to the SSgt for the inspiration he will provide. I wish there were more news stories (let alone awards to the deserving) about the adversity our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen over come everyday. Sadly, it is usually only the pieces of crap who wouldn't know integrity if it bit them that the civilians judge us by.

MADDOG 09-11-2010 09:16 PM

Great story! The bravery and selflessness of that man is beyond belief.

City Slicker 09-11-2010 10:58 PM

Awesome story! Thanks for sharing it, Randy.

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