Tuesday, September 14, 2010

American Patriot/Hero of the Week

This week's hero is particularly special. He is the first recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War to not receive our nation's highest honor posthumously. Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, then a rifle team leader of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, risked his life to save two members of his squad who were injured during an ambush by the Taliban. In the finest traditions of a real hero, Staff Sergeant Giunta gives credit for the action to the whole unit saying, "My piece of the puzzle is what everyone is interested in right now, but it was not the only one." He goes on to say, "What I remember and what I would like to tell people is that it was not me doing everything." A real hero in my book. The ceremony for his award has yet to be scheduled so I can not post his citation, but here is the White House Action Report:

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.

It is brave men and women such as Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta who ensure that this country will continue to have the freedoms we currently enjoy. With men like this, to stand between us and war's desolation and God willing, we always will.

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