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First Living Recipient To Receive Medal Of Honor From Afghanistan/Iraq Wars


All I can say, it is about time that a living recipient has been awarded the Medal Of Honor for serving our country so valiantly in Afghanistan and/or Iraq. The first living recipient to receive the Medal Of Honor since the Vietnam War is Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, he was an Army specialist in Afghanistan when he performed actions on the battlefield that were above and beyond the call of duty. Specialist Giunta put his life on the line to save his fellow soldiers when he and fellow paratroopers were ambushed by the Taliban in 2007. Staff Sergeant Giunta recently received a personal call from President Obama and was informed that he would receive the Medal Of Honor.

In October of 2007 in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, then Specialist Giunta and his fellow soldiers were ambushed by the Taliban from three sides. The engagement took place at night and with the Americans so close to their enemies, air support could not be called in during the firefight. The point man of the unit, Sergeant Josh Brennan, was hit eight times and Salvatore Giunta was hit in the chest but his body armor saved him from being mortally wounded. Being the fourth man in this patrol, Specialist Giunta recovered quickly from getting hit in his body armor and quickly set about to help the three men that were in front of him while patrolling. Moving up the trail to reach his wounded buddies, Specialist Giunta fired his weapon and threw hand grenades counter attacking the insurgents that had just ambushed him and his unit. He reached Staff Sergeant Eric Gallardo and Specialist Franklin Eckrode, Eckrode has received serious wounds in the ambush after his machine gun had jammed. Continuing under fire, Specialist Giunta saw two Taliban and they were trying to remove Sergeant Brennan from the battlefield to take him prisoner. Giunta engaged the two enemy soldiers, killing one, and continued to provide cover fire and comfort to his wounded buddy until help arrived. Sadly, Sergeant Brennan did not survive surgery and died from his wounds.

The following is the White House action account of then Specialist Giunta’s actions on October 25, 2007:

Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007. When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta’s squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. 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.

Joe Tarnovsky

View the original article at Veterans Today

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