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Old 09-10-2010, 22:30   #1
Zorro
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MOH - SSG Salvatore Giunta, B/2-503rd PIR

First Living Medal of Honor Recipient in the GWOT.

This article does not do his actions justice. For a better understanding read the book "War" by Sebastian Junger. And watch the documentary "Restrepo." Unfortunately, there have been many before him and after him who have deserved the same recognition but received only DSC's and Silver Star's. Regardless... it is about damn time.

http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/09/10...eadline-title0
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Old 09-10-2010, 23:42   #2
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Great news! Unfortunately the link is broken... it might be my browser.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:45   #3
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Here is more info....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obama_medal_of_honor

The army times link does not work...

Great job SSG Guinta

Last edited by SF_BHT; 10-07-2010 at 20:10.
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Old 10-07-2010, 17:03   #4
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Thank you SSG Guinta. Your humility continues the tradition of great honor.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/10/06/medal.of.honor.giunta/
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Old 10-07-2010, 20:08   #5
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SSG Guinta sounds like a great NCO.

Congratulations!!!!!!
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Old 10-07-2010, 21:35   #6
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Good on ya trooper Giunta!!!

A greatfuil nation thanks you!
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:27   #7
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Check out this you-tube video on SSG Guinta

http://www.*******.com/watch?v=50RFJ...e_gdata&ref=nf
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:29   #8
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When I read the account in the book (War) I was thinking, how did his actions not get recognized as above and beyond.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:57   #9
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Quote:
Check out this you-tube video on SSG Guinta

http://www.*******.com/watch?v=50RFJ...e_gdata&ref=nf
Great video. Thanks for posting it. SSG Guinta appears to be a very humble person. Nice to see.
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Old 11-13-2010, 15:45   #10
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Great video. Thanks for posting it. SSG Guinta appears to be a very humble person. Nice to see.
I totally agree,he's the kind of Hero that's made of the "right stuff"..............

Big Teddy
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:55   #11
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Interview with SSG Guinta on 60 minutes tonight.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:02   #12
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Today's NYT article.

Elizabeth Rubin recounts the horrific 2007 operation that recently resulted Sgt. Salvatore Giunta becoming the first living Medal of Honor winner since Vietnam. Rubin was there for the disastrous push to secure part of Korengal, one of Afghanistan's most remote and lawless regions. Giunta and the other men in his unit, writes Rubin, are angry and frustrated to have sacrificed so much for Korengalis who don't want them there. "As for the Korengal Valley, Giunta was right. The Korengalis would never leave or give up. Last April, after three more years of killing and dying in that valley, the Americans decided to leave the place to the locals."

For those who have never known anyone who has been awarded the MOH, SSG Giunta's story is reflective of why it is considered improper to say anyone has "won" a MOH.

And so it goes...

Richard


In One Moment in Afghanistan, Heroism and Heartbreak
Elizabeth Rubin, NYT, 13 Nov 2010

Three years and three weeks ago. Dusk was falling fast on the Korengal Valley. We were crouched on a shrub-laden plateau some 8,000 feet up in the mountains. The soldiers were exhausted and cold. We’d been sleeping in ditches for five nights. Insurgents were everywhere.

We could hear those insurgents on the radios saying things like: “They are all the way on the end at the top sitting there.” Pfc. Michael Cunningham, a deadpan Texan, said, “That is so us.”

Actually, it was much of Battle Company of the 173d Airborne Brigade, which was spread across the mountains — First Platoon around Honcho Hill, watching over Second Platoon in a village below called Landigal. And the Taliban were itching to hit us again.

None of this had been part of the plan for Rock Avalanche, Battle Company’s six-day mission to tame the valley before the onset of winter. But then again, that is what war is, the mocking of plans. The reaction in those moments of mockery is why we have Medals of Honor. But no one knew that Rock Avalanche would be one of the defining events in the Afghan war. That Honcho Hill would be Afghanistan’s Hamburger Hill.

Two days earlier, the Taliban had ambushed Battle Company in the forests and spurs of the Abas Ghar ridge. At stunningly close range, they had shot and killed Sgt. Larry Rougle, one of Battle Company’s best, toughest and coolest. They had wounded Sgt. Kevin Rice and Spec. Carl Vandenberge, two of Battle Company’s biggest. And they had stolen night vision goggles and machine guns. That’s why, on this night, Dan Kearney, the 27-year-old captain, had sent Second Platoon into Landigal — to demand their stuff back from the villagers, who played dumb.

For a day or two everyone had been in shock and mourning and out for blood. Now the fear was palpable. “If they can get Rougle, they can get any of us,” said Sgt. John Clinard.

I was with Captain Kearney and his command group on the plateau and soon we were helicoptered, in five minutes, to the Korengal Outpost. But First and Second Platoons had to trek back through ambush country, under a full moon.

As our Black Hawk left us off, rockets and machine-gun fire echoed off the valley’s walls. First Platoon on Honcho Hill was getting hit. I heard Lt. Brad Winn on the radio, shouting. His boys needed help. Five were down. Captain Kearney radioed commands to his other platoon. “Drop everything, cross that river, help your brothers.”

Snippets of information hung in the air. “Urgent wounded Josh Brennan.” “Six exit wounds.” “Needs a ventilator.” Kearney cursed and threw down his radio. “Eckrode leg. Valles leg.” “Who is the K.I.A?” “I think it’s Mendoza.” Spec. Hugo Mendoza was a medic from El Paso and Arizona, Sgt. Joshua Brennan a quiet Gary Cooper type from Wisconsin. “We are in contact again. Enemy K.I.A. in custody. Over.”

Kearney radioed back: “Keep bringing it on them,” and “Slasher is coming.” Someone radioed they could see a man making off with Brennan’s rucksack and his M4. In came Slasher, the AC-130, and the rucksack guy was dead. Captain Kearney took a breath and told First Sgt. La Monta Caldwell: “Brennan’s probably going to die. I would go and hold his hand and pray with him.” Which is what Caldwell did.

As airpower took over, thunder and lightning lit up the sky while the two platoons forded the river and climbed up to the Korengal Outpost.

They were drenched. Their eyes bulging and bloodshot. Their faces stained black. Nearly everyone in First Platoon had a bullet hole in his vest or helmet. Sgt. Chris Shelton dropped the belongings of an insurgent named Mohammad Tali. Sgt. Salvatore Giunta had shot and killed him as he was dragging off Brennan. “His face looked like a Halloween mask,” Shelton said. “No brains. I got them all over my hands. I have to wash them.” The only reason they didn’t take more casualties, he said, was Giunta and Gallardo.

Hunched over, elbow on his knee, head resting on his palm, Captain Kearney began calling the families of the dead.

The next morning I found Sgt. Erick Gallardo outside and Sergeant Giunta on guard duty. At just 23, Gallardo was the eldest in his squad and felt like the father. “Best thing is for us to be a family, take care of each other,” he said. “It’s five months in and we have five K.I.A.’s, couple platoons worth of Purple Hearts. Not one person in my squad got out without a bullet round. It doesn’t feel good at all.”

And they told what had happened. The platoon had waited until dark when the Apaches were overhead before heading out, single file, Brennan in the lead. (Brennan was always in the lead, without protest. Even after he’d been shot in the calf two months earlier when their patrol was ambushed. He’d do anything for his friends.) Not 300 meters on, they fell into the ambush. Gallardo remembered running forward to get control of the fight, R.P.G.’s landing in front of him, bullets hitting the dirt, and then one finally whacked him.

“When I fell, Giunta thought I was hit. He tried to pull me back to cover and got shot and hit in the chest.” But body armor saved both of them. Gallardo got Giunta and two other men and said, “On 3 we are going to get Brennan and Eckrode.” They threw grenades, dropped down, prepped the second round, and Gallardo shouted, “Throw them as far as you can.” They found Spec. Franklin Eckrode wounded but trying to fix his weapon. Gallardo began dressing his leg and suddenly heard Giunta yelling back: “Sergeant G, they are taking Brennan away.”

Giunta told me: “I just kept on running up the trail,” he said. “It was cloudy. I was running and I saw dudes plural and I was, like, ‘Who the hell is up here?’ I saw two of them trying to carry Brennan away and I started shooting at them. They dropped him and when I looked at him, he was still conscious. He was missing the bottom part of his jaw. He was breathing and moving and I pulled him back in the ditch.”

His voice broke. Everyone in the small observation post was failing to hold back tears. “He was coming to and asking for morphine and I said, ‘You’ll get out and tell your hero stories and come visit us in Florence,’ and he was, like, ‘I will, I will.’ ” Out of the sky dropped a hoist and a medic and they gave him a trachea tube and Giunta kept squeezing the bag to keep him breathing. There was silence and fidgeting.

And then Giunta said, “All my feelings are with my friends and they are getting smaller. I have sweat more, cried more, bled more in this country than my own."

“These people,” he said, meaning the Afghans, “won’t leave this valley. They have been here far before I could fathom an Afghanistan.”

“I ran to the front because that is where he was,” Giunta said, talking of Brennan. “I didn’t try to be a hero and save everyone.”

On Tuesday Giunta will become the first living soldier to receive the Medal of Honor since Vietnam. He has said that if he is a hero then everyone who goes into the unknown is a hero. He has said he was angry to have a medal around his neck at the price of Brennan’s and Mendoza’s lives. It took three years for the Pentagon to finalize the award. And it is puzzling to many soldiers and families why the military brass has been so sparing with this medal during the last decade of unceasing warfare.

As for the Korengal Valley, Giunta was right. The Korengalis would never leave or give up.

Last April, after three more years of killing and dying in that valley, the Americans decided to leave the place to the locals.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/we...pagewanted=all
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Old 11-14-2010, 14:21   #13
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Richard,

I've got the same problem with Barry when he used "Win" his Green Beret,"earned"is far more appropriate.................

Big Teddy
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SF is a calling and it requires commitment and dedication that the uninitiated will never understand......
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Old 11-14-2010, 14:35   #14
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Richard,

I've got the same problem with Barry when he used "Win" his Green Beret,"earned"is far more appropriate.................

Big Teddy
But it sold more records, and the general public, is, well....
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Old 11-14-2010, 20:22   #15
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Very telling an poignant close to the 60 Minute interview. SSG Giunta was asked what type of soldier he was. He replied "average...mediocre." The interviewer asked; You won the Medal of Honor and you are only mediocre? SSG Giunta's response was; Imagine how good the really great soldiers are.
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