First living service member to receive the Medal of Honor

Scotth

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Paratrooper to get Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan
(CNN) -- An Army paratrooper who risked his life to save fellow soldiers will become the first living service member to receive the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan, the White House said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, 25, will receive the honor for "acts of gallantry at the risk of his life" during combat in Afghanistan in October 2007, the White House said in a written statement.

President Barack Obama called Giunta, a native of Hiawatha, Iowa, on Thursday to inform him of the honor and to thank him for "extraordinary bravery in battle," the statement said. Giunta will receive the medal at a later date.

On Thursday, the White House announced that Obama will award the Medal of Honor posthumously to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller for "conspicuous gallantry" and "heroic actions" in Afghanistan in January 2008. Miller sacrificed his life "to save the lives of his teammates and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers," the White House said.

The White House announced last week that Obama also intends to award the Medal of Honor to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger for his valor in saving the lives of three wounded comrades at a then-secret base in Laos in 1968. Enemy fighters shot and killed Etchberger after he saved his fellow airmen.

Giunta was an Army specialist and rifle team leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment when an insurgent ambush split his squad into two groups on October 25, 2007, the White House statement said.

He "exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover," it said.

"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," the statement said. "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."

Fewer than 3,500 Medals of Honor have been awarded since the medal was established during the Civil War.

Giunta, who was recently married, is currently with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry based in Vicenza, Italy. "He is responsible for the health, morale, welfare, training and accountability of all assigned personnel," the Army said. He has served two combat tours in Afghanistan.
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http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/10/medal.of.honor.recipient/index.html?hpt=T2

Well done Paratrooper!
 

Florida173

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car

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There's another thread about the nomination, where I mentioned that you can read about this Soldier's actions in a recently published book by Sebastian Junger, titled "War." Someone also mentioned the film "Restrepo." The footage for that movie was made at the same time. The cameraman was the guy accompanying Junger over a 15 month period. IIRC they were there the night Giunta did what he did.

Well Done, Trooper!
 

Florida173

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This is my old company and I can't be prouder for what they have accomplished and the sacrifices they have made over in Afghanistan three times now since I've left the unit.

I brought a couple of the guys that I'm going through the 35F course here in Utah to see Restrepo last weekend and can't wait till the documentary comes out on DVD/Blu-ray in November.
 

txpj007

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Outstanding work and awesome job...very well deserved!

I however dont understand why Spc Guinta is the first living person to receive the MOH during OIF/OEF. Hopefully that doesnt come across as an asshole statement. I just dont get why these actions warranted a MOH when I have seen people get lesser decorations for actions imo that were just as valiant. The MOH isnt something to take lightly obviously so I understand the hesitancy to withhold it. I literrally heard on the news not three days ago after SSgt Miller (Army SF) posthumously received the MOH that pressure was being put out there to award a living soldier the MOH. The news was saying how there was pressure to spotlight a hero for America to rally around in the ongoing conflict. Again I dont want to take anything away from Spc Guinta or his actions at all...thats not my point...I'm happy to see a hero get full recognition for doing what millions of other people would shit there pants even thinking about doing. I just dont get why they chose to honor Spc Guinta and leave out others that Im sure were just as deserving.

Youre thoughts...hate mail...send it...
 

Florida173

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Outstanding work and awesome job...very well deserved!

I however dont understand why Spc Guinta is the first living person to receive the MOH during OIF/OEF. Hopefully that doesnt come across as an asshole statement. I just dont get why these actions warranted a MOH when I have seen people get lesser decorations for actions imo that were just as valiant. The MOH isnt something to take lightly obviously so I understand the hesitancy to withhold it. I literrally heard on the news not three days ago after SSgt Miller (Army SF) posthumously received the MOH that pressure was being put out there to award a living soldier the MOH. The news was saying how there was pressure to spotlight a hero for America to rally around in the ongoing conflict. Again I dont want to take anything away from Spc Guinta or his actions at all...thats not my point...I'm happy to see a hero get full recognition for doing what millions of other people would shit there pants even thinking about doing. I just dont get why they chose to honor Spc Guinta and leave out others that Im sure were just as deserving.

Youre thoughts...hate mail...send it...


As generally I really despise Rachel Maddow, she actually tells the story a bit better.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908//vp/39106646#39106646
 

Marauder06

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Outstanding work and awesome job...very well deserved!

I however dont understand why Spc Guinta is the first living person to receive the MOH during OIF/OEF. Hopefully that doesnt come across as an asshole statement. I just dont get why these actions warranted a MOH when I have seen people get lesser decorations for actions imo that were just as valiant. The MOH isnt something to take lightly obviously so I understand the hesitancy to withhold it. I literrally heard on the news not three days ago after SSgt Miller (Army SF) posthumously received the MOH that pressure was being put out there to award a living soldier the MOH. The news was saying how there was pressure to spotlight a hero for America to rally around in the ongoing conflict. Again I dont want to take anything away from Spc Guinta or his actions at all...thats not my point...I'm happy to see a hero get full recognition for doing what millions of other people would shit there pants even thinking about doing. I just dont get why they chose to honor Spc Guinta and leave out others that Im sure were just as deserving.

Youre thoughts...hate mail...send it...

One of the surveys the Army constantly barrages me with concern the MoH. I had the exact observations you did- why are all of our MoH recipients getting their awards posthumously? There is a great deal of speculation that there was a political angle to it- don't want a MoH recipient making trouble for the regime. Sounds to me like he deserved The Medal, I'm glad he got it and I hope there are more to follow for other deserving individuals- and maybe some Silver Star or DSC upgrades.
 
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