Friday, September 10, 2010

Non-posthumous Medal of Honor to be awarded today

For the first time since the Vietnam War, an American serviceman is to be awarded the Medal of Honor without giving his life while performing the heroic acts which made him eligible for the decoration in the first place.

In October of 2007, Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) Salvatore "Sal" Giunta charged two Taliban members who were carrying off one of his wounded comrades. Giunta killed one Taliban and wounded the other. Giunta's wounded comrade, SGT Josh Brennan, later died of those wounds. Giunta's actions also broke up an ambush that was endangering his entire unit.

From Andrew Breitbart's newest venture, BigPeace.com:
Giunta was a Specialist when the action occurred and his squad was hit with a well-planned ambush at extremely close range. He was the trail team leader and Josh Brennan was the lead. When the fighting started Brennan was severely wounded, their squad leader was knocked to the ground, their medic was killed and several others were wounded. Giunta immediately began maneuvering toward the enemy throwing grenades and eventually charging them when he saw two of them hauling Josh away. He emptied a magazine killing one and wounding the other and grabbed Brennan telling Josh to stay with him so that he would get a chance to tell heroic stories. They did get Brennan on a medevac chopper, but unfortunately his wounds were too severe and he didn’t survive. But Giunta’s actions stopped the Taliban from taking him and by running headlong at the enemy he disrupted the ambush.
In the nine years since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, six U.S. servicemen have been awarded the Medal of Honor - all of them posthumously. My hat is off to SSG Giunta for peforming a truly gutsy act which saved SGT Brennan even more pain than he was experiencing already. Wear that baby blue ribbon with pride!

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

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