First Living Medal of Honor Recipient in 40 Years
On November 16, 2010, Salvatore A. Giunta from Hiawatha, Iowa, became the first living recipient of America's highest military honor for valor, the Medal of Honor, since the Vietnam War. The Army specialist, later promoted to staff sergeant, engaged Taliban fighters to rescue comrades who had been separated from the team. An except from his Medal of Honor citation reads:
"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 … "
Click here to read the full citation on Lindsay Wise's Armed Sources military and veterans news blog.