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Salvatore Augustine Giunta

Date of birth: January 21, 1985
Date of death: Still Living
Place of Birth: Iowa, Clinton
Home of record: Hiawatha Iowa

When the Medal of Honor was presented to Salvatore Giunta on November 16, 2010, for his heroic actions in the Global War on Terrorism, he became the first LIVING recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions since the end of the Vietnam War.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant [then Specialist] Salvatore Augustine Giunta, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Specialist 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 25 October 2007. While conducting a patrol as team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 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 a 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 his 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.

Action Date: October 23, 2007

Service: Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Company B

Battalion: 2d Battalion (Airborne)

Regiment: 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team