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November 16, 2010

Profiles of Valor: SFG Salvatore Giunta (USA)

Giunta

In a ceremony at the White House today, United States Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta became the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to his Medal of Honor citation:

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.

Giunta himself was shot in the chest, though his ballistic vest prevented injury, and another bullet disabled the weapon on his back. Unfortunately, Sgt. John Brennan, the first soldier Giunta saved, did not survive surgery. They were best friends.

After learning that he would receive the Medal, Giunta reflected, “It is a great thing, but it is a great thing that has come at a personal loss to myself and so many other families. … It came at the price of a good buddy of mine.”

Sgt. Erick Gallardo, who received a Silver Star for actions in the same firefight, added perspective: “The last thing Brennan ever saw was us. You know, he saw us fighting for him,” he said. “We fought for him and he’s home with his family now because of that.”

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776


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The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)

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