Washington (Sept. 10, 2010) -- Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will receive the Medal of Honor for his valor in combat, the White House has announced. Giunta is the first living recipient for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama will present the Medal of Honor to Giunta at a date to be determined in a White House ceremony. Giunta is from Hiawatha, Iowa, and is currently stationed at Camp Ederle in Vicenza, Italy.
Giunta, 25, was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, serving as a rifle team leader when he engaged the enemy to recover a wounded Soldier on Oct. 25, 2007 that the enemy was trying to take prisoner. After throwing hand grenades at the enemy positions in order to suppress them, Giunta moved forward without hesitation, into what had been enemy fighting position only moments before. Giunta engaged two enemy fighters and then rescued his wounded comrade and assisted in keeping him alive before the Soldier eventually succumbed to his wounds. Giunta's unwavering courage, in the midst of an ambush in which two American paratroopers gave their lives and several more were wounded, embodied the highest ideals of the Army Values. His selflessness and leadership above and beyond the call of duty exemplifies the strength of the Nation.
Giunta was born Jan. 21, 1985, and grew up in Iowa where his parents still reside. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 2003. He received his Basic and Infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga.
His previous military decorations include: The Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, two Army commendation Medals, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Parachutist Badge.
Giunta has deployed twice, both times to Afghanistan. The first deployment was from March 2005 to March 2006. His second deployment was from May 2007 to July 2008. Since his heroic actions as specialist in 2007, Giunta was promoted to staff sergeant in August 2009.
Giunta will become the eighth servicemember to receive the Medal of Honor during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. <a href="http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/monti/">Sgt. 1st Class Monti</a> was the first Soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. Monti posthumously received the award on Sept. 17, 2009 in a ceremony at the White House.
The White House announced yesterday that the President will present the Medal of Honor posthumously to <a href="http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/09/10/45005-white-house-to-present-medal-of-honor-to-family-of-green-beret-for-heroism-in-afghanistan/index.html">Staff Sgt. Robert Miller</a> in a White House ceremony on Oct. 6, 2010.
For more information on the Medal of Honor please visit <a href="http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor">www.Army.mil/medalofhonor</a>.