10 September 2010

Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta to be awarded Medal of Honor

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Six servicemembers have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in the current wars - two for Afghanistan, and four for actions in Iraq. All of them died in the line of duty.

Until now.

Soldier will be first living Medal of Honor recipient from current wars

By Leo Shane III and Stars and Stripes
Published: September 10, 2010

WASHINGTON — Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, a soldier who risked his life to stop Taliban fighters from kidnapping a fallen comrade, will be the first living U.S. servicemember from either Iraq or Afghanistan to receive the Medal of Honor, White House officials announced Friday.

On Oct. 25 that year [2007], then-Spc. Giunta’s squad was ambushed by insurgents and two soldiers were cut off from the rest. In the initial moments of the firefight, Giunta ventured out into enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover.

“Everything kind of slowed down and I did everything I thought I could do, nothing more and nothing less,” Giunta told Junger.

Giunta and two other soldiers assaulted the enemy position with grenades to move forward and link up with the seperated soldiers, one of whom was Sgt. Joshua Brennan, one of Giunta’s closest friends. When Giunta sprinted to where to he thought Brennan would be, he saw two enemy fighters dragging him down the hill. Giunta fired his M4 and ran after them, killing one insurgent and forcing the other to drop Brennan and run away.

Army officials say Giunta provided medical aid to his comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. Brennan later died, but Giunta’s actions prevented his body and equipment from falling into enemy hands.

Brennan’s father told the Wisconsin State Journal that though his son did not survive, his family is deeply grateful for Giunta’s efforts.

“For us, it’s a very emotional thing that Sal was able to get Josh’s body back to us,” said Terry Brennan. “Who knows what the Taliban would have done to him? ...

“Not only did he save Josh, so that we were able to have him back and have an open coffin at the funeral, he really saved half of the platoon.”

There's much more at the link.

Congtatulations and thank you, Staff Sergeant Giunta. We're so proud of you.

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