Salvatore Giunta From Hiawatha, Iowa: Medal Of Honor
Salvatore A. Giunta of Company B, 2nd Battilion (Airborne), 503d Infantry: To Receive Medal Of Honor: First Medal Of Honor Given To A Living Service Member From Iraq And Afghanistan Wars
Sergeant Salvatore Giunta is 25. Salvatore Giunta is a hero. The US military will honor Giunta's service by bestowing a rare honor on the Seargeant.
Salvatore Giunta will receive the Medal of Honor for extraordinary bravery, going beyond the call of duty to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. It is the first Medal of Honor bestowed on a living solider from the Iraq and Afghan wars. Six other Medal of Honors were handed out but they were all posthumous.
It's bittersweet for us," said Steven Giunta, of Hiawatha. "We're very proud of Sal. We can't mention that enough, but in this event, two other soldiers were killed and that weighs heavy on us. You get very happy and very proud and then you start dealing with the loss as well. You can't have one without the other."
The event that Salvatore's father is talking about occurred in Afghanistan in 2007. This is how the New York Times described Salvatore's Giunta's bravery during battle in the inhospitable mountains of Afghanistan.
A young Army specialist, Salvatore A. Giunta, took a bullet to the chest, but was saved by the heavy plates of his body armor. Shaking off the punch from the round, he jumped up and pulled two wounded soldiers to safety, grabbed hand grenades and ran up the trail to where his squad mates had been patrolling.
There, he saw a chilling image: Two fighters hauling one of his American comrades into the forest. Specialist Giunta hurled his grenades and emptied the clip in his automatic rifle, forcing the enemy to drop the wounded soldier. Still taking fire, he provided cover and comfort to his mortally wounded teammate until help arrived.
“It was one of the worst days of my life, and when I revisit it, it kind of guts me a little bit more every time,” the soldier, now a staff sergeant, said Friday.
Salvatore Giunta a member of Company B, 2nd Battilion (Airborne), 503d Infantry is now stationed in Italy where he received a congratulatory call from President Obama
A date for the Medal Of Honor ceremony for Sgt. Salvatore Giunta has yet to be set