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The Face of Valor - Salvatore Giunta

Posted Thursday, March 10, 2011, at 12:12 AM

Sometimes you run across a story that warms the heart. Such is the case with American hero Salvatore Giunta. Sgt. Giunta would make Audie Murphy proud. I am amazed at the incredible courage our soldiers show in representing the people of the United States.

Salvatore Giunta is the first American Soldier to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, and live to talk about it, since Vietnam. Sgt. Giunta would tell you that he is not exceptional, that every man that fought with him that incredible day in Afghanistan is a hero, not him. Humility is often a trait of true heroes.


Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, on October 25, 2007.

While conducting a patrol as team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d infantry Regiment, Specialist Giunta and his team were navigating through harsh terrain when they were ambushed by a well-armed and well-coordinated insurgent force. While under heavy enemy fire, Specialist Giunta immediately sprinted towards cover and engaged the enemy. Seeing that his squad leader had fallen and believing that he had been injured, Specialist Giunta exposed himself to withering enemy fire and raced towards his squad leader, helped him to cover, and administered medical aid. While administering first aid, enemy fire struck Specialist Giunta's body armor and his secondary weapon.

Without regard to the ongoing fire, Specialist Giunta engaged the enemy before prepping and throwing grenades, using the explosions for cover in order to conceal his position. Attempting to reach additional wounded fellow soldiers who were separated from the squad, Specialist Giunta and his team encountered a barrage of enemy fire that forced them to the ground. The team continued forward and upon reaching the wounded soldiers, Specialist Giunta realized that another soldier was still separated from the element. Specialist Giunta then advanced forward on his own initiative.

As he crested the top of the hill, he observed two insurgents carrying away an American soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other. Upon reaching the wounded soldier, he began to provide medical aid, as his squad caught up and provided security.

Specialist Giunta's unwavering courage, selflessness, and decisive leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to the platoon's ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American soldier from the enemy. Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, and the United States Army.

Typical of a hero, Giunta really wants to play down what happened that tragic night in Afghanistan that October night in 2007 that left two of his pals dead.

"It's kind of an awkward situation. Every single person I was with would have done what I did, possibly even better, but they were doing other things. So for a medal to be awarded to me for actions that are above and beyond, sometimes it's hard for me to stomach hearing that."

Salvatore will be returning home soon, in June 2011, to his native Iowa and plans to attend college in Colorado.

In an interview in the Des Moines Register (on-line) Sal's parents Rose and Steve Giunta of Hiawatha, Iowa, said their son believes this medal represents the selfless actions of every soldier in the squad - as well as every soldier in combat.

"That kind of sacrifice that the soldiers do for one another brings me to tears," his father said. "There's something bigger here. It's bigger that Sal."

Thanks Sal for your inspiring actions and remarkable humility. I am thankful for you and your fellow soldiers, and may God grant you the peace to handle the loss of your friends that fateful night far away from home.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Wonderful column, Sam.

-- Posted by MrsSmith on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 7:39 AM

You can put me on the list of admirers. I am proud to have known two MOH recipients. Salvatore Giunta is of that mold, and character.

My special thanks to him, and all the young folk serving this country, and world freedom.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 9:56 AM

Please join (18) Medal of Honor Recipients as well as general officers, best-selling authors, journalists, actors, and thousands of others from across the Nation......indeed from around the world in signing our Petition to the President requesting that Audie Murphy, America's 'most decorated soldier' of WWII be posthumously conferred the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom our Nation's highest civilian honor.

Please click the link or copy and paste it into your browser to be redirected to the petition.


It is awarded to those who have made contributions to the peace and security of the Nation as well as other lifetime cultural contributions to America.

Thank you!

Dave Phillips


Audie Murphy Presidential Medal of Freedom Petition Campaign

-- Posted by Dave1945 on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 11:25 AM

You think about young men and women like Sal Giunta, and then your blood boils at the festering puke that is someone like Harry Reid.

Harry Reid, a man who damages just about everything he touches. A man who declared that the blood spilled by our sons and daughters was a lost cause. Harry Reid who then has the gonads to whine and cry about cowboy poets. Harry Reid, who won re-election by union thuggery and the of votes of illegals.

(Geez Sam, tell us how you really feel!)

Sal Giunta's pals died for the just and unjust, that is the irony.

Remember, we have someone on our Supreme Court who worked to ban recruiters on the Campus of the Harvard indoctrination and holier-than-thou Center.

Another hero in the mold of Sal Giunta was booed and heckled at Columbia, where a bunch of leftist idiots feel that they can pass judgements on real heroes. Idiots because their brains have been destroyed by America hating Marxist professors.

Ochosinco - One of my friends, in her thirties, told me that she was a bit tired of my negative posts. I wanted to cry, I really did, because I don't see much to be positive about, especially when you see people like our pal, Michael Hendricks, who cries and cries about how unfair we all are to Barack Obama.

My God! You have to shake your head. This man Obama, who has been the beneficiary of the sacrifices of real men, and man who has been completely blessed by the system he, and his wife, hate so much. And Michael cries about about it. Boo Hoo, poor little Obama.

Hard to keep your lunch down after reading that kind of delusion.

Thirty five years ago, I remember my mother and I had similar discussions. I thought mom was harsh, and was needlessly worried. It is stunning, how everything she warned me about, came true.

If I had only taken her warnings to heart, and worked to stop the leftists infiltration of just about everything. I know there were allot of moms who warned their sons 35 years ago. If only more would have listened.

When you are young, who wants to hear that your future may be in jeopardy?

By the time many of our thirty year olds realize what is happening because of Socialists like Obama, it may be too late. Our grandkids will be slapped into the chains of serfdom.

Until liberals are defeated, there is not so much to be positive about.

Unless you consider those on the front lines of sanity. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Henry Cain, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc.

Keep up the fight.

-- Posted by sameldridge on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 12:05 PM

Thanks Dave for the information.

-- Posted by sameldridge on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 12:06 PM

Thanks Sam!! Excellent post. I met a man in his nineties in Charleston SC in 1967 when I was stationed there at Charleston AFB. He was a CMH winner from WWI. He fought alongside Sgt. York. We must have talked for over an hour before it was time for him to board his flight to Germany. I don't remember the man's name, but it was an honor to get to know him for that brief time. He showed me a copy of the citation he carried with him that he had laminated. He was wearing the 13 star rosette on his lapel. He said it was pretty nice having Generals salute him first after he received the award. I salute all our heroes, dead or alive, who chose to serve the greatest country ever blessed by God to exist.

-- Posted by marcus elvis erogenous on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 10:20 PM

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