Airborne Soldier to be Awarded MOH

Army SSgt. Salvatore Giunta, cited for heroism in Afghanistan, on Nov. 16 will become the first living service member to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. President Obama will present him with the medal during a White House ceremony, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. Separated from his unit, Giunta rescued two fellow soldiers under enemy fire in Afghanistan’s Korengal valley. Engaging enemy forces at risk to his own life, Giunta retrieved a wounded comrade, whom insurgents were attempting to carry off, and dragged another from the line of fire. Though the wounded soldier ultimately succumbed to his wounds, Giunta prevented him from falling into enemy hands. At the time of this action, Giunta was a rifle team leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based out of Vicenza, Italy. A native of Hiawatha, Iowa, he will become the eighth MOH recipient since 9/11 for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. (For more on Giunta, see this DOD release.)