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Old 11-16-2010, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Houston area, for now
948 posts, read 1,201,855 times
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WASHINGTON -- An Army staff sergeant who stepped into the line of fire to help a pair of comrades on the Afghan battlefield has been given a Medal of Honor, the nation's top military award.

President Barack Obama awarded the medal to Salvatore Giunta Tuesday. That makes the 25-year-old Iowan the first living service member from the Iraq or Afghanistan wars to be so honored. Seven others have received the award posthumously.

Obama called Giunta a solider who is "as humble as he is heroic" and said the ceremony was a "joyous occasion."

The Army says Giunta was a rifle team leader in eastern Afghanistan's Korengal Valley when his squad was split in two on Oct. 25, 2007 after an ambush by insurgents. While under fire, Giunta pulled a fellow soldier to cover and rescued another who was being dragged away by the enemy.

All of the members of Giunta's company were hit with shrapnel, Obama said during the ceremony on Tuesday. Two men, Sgt. Josh Brennan of McFarland, Wisconsin, and Spc. Hugo "Doc" Mendoza of El Paso, died from wounds suffered in the battle. Brennan was Giunta's best friend. Mendoza was an Army medic.

Mendoza had been shot in the leg trying to help another soldier and bled out through his femoral artery.

The parents of Mendoza and Brennan attended the Medal of Honor ceremony.

Giunta told CNN when he first learned he would receive the Medal of Honor, "I felt lost. I felt kind of angry ... just because, you know, this is so big. This is, it came at such a price. It came at the price of a good buddy of mine, not just Brennan. But Mendoza. Mendoza died that night as well. These two men on that day made the biggest sacrifice anyone can ever make. And it's not for a paycheck."

Giunta told the Army News Service that Mendoza and Brennan were better soldiers than he was.

"That's part of what gets me so much. I was with Brennan for the deployment before and he's always been a better Soldier than me," Giunta said. "He was Alpha Team leader. I was Bravo Team leader. There's a reason for that. Spc. Mendoza was a combat medic. He did everything we did, plus when we came back dehydrated, 'Oh I'm this, oh I'm that, I have this blister Doc,' he would fix it. He went above and beyond every single day."

Mendoza grew up in El Paso and attended Hanks High School before he moved to Phoenix during his junior year at Hanks. He is buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Houston area, for now
948 posts, read 1,201,855 times
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Stand Proud Army
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,859,608 times
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I saw it on TV. My congratulations and my thanks to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Augustine Giunta. And some more background: Salvatore Giunta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Rich
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,705,601 times
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I see a terribly hurt but brave young man, wish I could give him a hug and dry the tears. I hope he is strong enough to stand up to all the hoopla, it's going to be hard on such a humble, private man.
The piece on 60 minutes last night had me in tears.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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Finally. No disrespect to past recipients, but maybe now it will be more than the "grenade diver" award. hopefully this is the precursor to more MOH being awarded to the living.There have been several Medal of Honor worthy feats in the past 9 years where the onlt reason the servicemen didn't get it is b/c they lived.

Major Chontosh, and SgtMaj Kasal come to mind.

Brian Chontosh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bradley Kasal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:45 AM
 
2,653 posts, read 4,595,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macjr82 View Post
Finally. No disrespect to past recipients, but maybe now it will be more than the "grenade diver" award. hopefully this is the precursor to more MOH being awarded to the living.There have been several Medal of Honor worthy feats in the past 9 years where the onlt reason the servicemen didn't get it is b/c they lived.

Major Chontosh, and SgtMaj Kasal come to mind.

Brian Chontosh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bradley Kasal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It seems like things are operating at extremes. We give out non combat medals like candy -AAM's, ARCOM's, MSM's, etc. Some guys have medal racks that would make Patton blush - mostly filled with alot of end of assignment medals that have little connection to heroism or warfighting. Then on the other extreme the CMH apears to be overprotected and deserving candidates are overlooked because they did not get KIA.

Either way' let me offer a hearty HOOAH! to SSG Guinta for a well deserved award!
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:16 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,240,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammasCabin View Post
I see a terribly hurt but brave young man, wish I could give him a hug and dry the tears. I hope he is strong enough to stand up to all the hoopla, it's going to be hard on such a humble, private man.
The piece on 60 minutes last night had me in tears.
I agree. I saw him interviewed a few wks ago & he said that he is quite honored, but it carries a burden.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Houston area, for now
948 posts, read 1,201,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macjr82 View Post
Finally. No disrespect to past recipients, but maybe now it will be more than the "grenade diver" award. hopefully this is the precursor to more MOH being awarded to the living.There have been several Medal of Honor worthy feats in the past 9 years where the onlt reason the servicemen didn't get it is b/c they lived.

Major Chontosh, and SgtMaj Kasal come to mind.

Brian Chontosh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bradley Kasal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I don't think that any recipient of the Medal of Honor would dead or alive would feel disrespected by your comment. In fact I think they would support it
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:04 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,880,841 times
Reputation: 9894
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC Investor2 View Post
It seems like things are operating at extremes. We give out non combat medals like candy -AAM's, ARCOM's, MSM's, etc. Some guys have medal racks that would make Patton blush - mostly filled with alot of end of assignment medals that have little connection to heroism or warfighting. Then on the other extreme the CMH apears to be overprotected and deserving candidates are overlooked because they did not get KIA.

Either way' let me offer a hearty HOOAH! to SSG Guinta for a well deserved award!
Well said, OC Investor2; couldn't agree with you more.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,162 posts, read 10,472,822 times
Reputation: 3969
Just my opinion ...
If, due to heroic action, the person dies ...
Then *we* should take care of their *living relatives* !

If they are still alive, take care of their sanity afterward,
and reward them accordingly.

Unless you've been there done that ....
It is harder than many people can imagine.
When you do something heroic (in a war),
you think more of the people who die,
than you may think about yourself.
That is where the *heroic* part cuts in ...

Go visit *The Wall*, and watch *living* veterans *find* their buddies.
Even YOU will shed tears !!!

Even today, any soldier who says he is doing it for his country,
is a *HERO* to me.
Would YOU care to leave your loved ones, and are willing to die for a *cause* ???

Nuff sed,
*a Vietnam vet* and proud of it !!!
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