Yesterday, the President Obama spoke with Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, who will be the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor is for acts of gallantry at the risk of one's life that go above and beyond the call of duty, and the President thanked him for his extraoridinary service.
The White House readout described how he earned the Medal of Honor:
Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007.
When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta's squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands.