Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta

There hasn't been a living recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor since Vietnam. It was long overdue, but yesterday President Obama and the army brass broke that streak, awarding it to Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta, for actions in Afghanistan in October 2007. Giunta's unit was featured in Sebastian Junger's documentary "Restrepo," which I still haven't managed to see. Junger put together a 14 minute video telling the story of Giunta's actions on 25 October. It's worth watching the whole thing. From the video:

"When you heard you were up for the Medal of Honor, what was your first thought?"
"Fuck you."

Giunta's bravery is beyond belief, but he does not let anyone congratulate him without acknowledging the bravery all his fellow soldiers demonstrate every day, in particular the two soldiers who died in that firefight, Sergeant Joshua Brennan and Specialist Hugo Mendoza.

On the same somber note, I want to point out that on 13 November, three soldiers, Staff Sergeant Juan Rivadeneira, Corporal Jacob Carver, and Specialist Jacob Carroll died in a suicide attack in Afghanistan, may they rest in peace.

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