This morning, the White House announced that Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan in 2007. Giunta will be the first living recipient of the nation's highest combat award for valor from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama spoke with Giunta yesterday, informing the soldier that he will receive the medal.
Giunta was selected to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions on Oct. 25, 2007, while serving as a specialist with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion from the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Afghanistan.
According to the White House, when Giunta's squad was ambushed, insurgents split his team into two groups. In the firefight, Giunta successfully pulled a comrade back to cover, while continuing to engage the enemy.
While attempting to reconnect with his squad, Giunta noticed insurgents carrying away a wounded soldier. Giunta killed one of the potential captors and wounded the other, freeing the soldier, to whom he then rendered aid. Giunta then reconnected with his squad, which continued to provide security, defeating the ambush.
Over the last two years, AMVETS has questioned Pentagon leaders on why no living recipients had been selected for the Medal of Honor through nearly a decade of combat in support of the Global War on Terror.
AMVETS National Commander Jerry Hotop said he was proud to see that the President will honor Giunta, adding to the ranks of living American heroes, keeping with traditions of the Medal of Honor dating back to the Civil War.
Giunta and Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller are the latest soldiers to earn the Medal of Honor for their actions in Afghanistan. Miller, who will receive the medal posthumously, will be honored at the White House in a special ceremony on Oct. 6, where family members will accept the medal from the President.
This morning, Stars & Stripes published a letter from Miller's parents, Phil and Maureen Miller, expressing pride in their son for his actions, which helped to protect his team and a team of Afghan Army soldiers. To read more about Miller's award, Click Here.
(Image: Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions while serving in Afghanistan as a specialist in 2007.)