Air Force Times Link
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will be the first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War.
On Thursday, President Obama spoke with Giunta, who is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, in Vicenza, Italy, to inform him that he will be awarded the nation’s highest valor award, according to the White House.
Giunta, 25, will be honored for his actions during a fierce firefight Oct. 25, 2007, in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley.
According to the White House announcement, when an insurgent force ambush split 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, 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 defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands, according to the White House.
The Medal of Honor awarded to Giunta will be the eighth since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The seventh, also for actions in Afghanistan, was announced Thursday and will be awarded posthumously to Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller.
Miller, of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group of Fort Bragg, N.C., will be honored for his actions on Jan. 25, 2008. Obama will present the medal to Miller’s parents during a ceremony Oct. 6 at the White House.
The first six Medals of Honor awarded for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were posthumous awards, including four for acts of heroism in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.
Details of the ceremony for Giunta have not been announced.