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This Is What A Hero Looks Like!

Tomorrow marks an anniversary that calls for no celebration, rather a quiet remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001. I guess I could write a long column about remembrance, service to country, or our “war” on terrorism. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about Quoran burning by the crazy minister in Florida who has managed to hold the media hostage with his threats and rants.

I really don’t feel like writing any of that. 9 years after that fateful day, we as a Nation have somehow moved far away from the events of that day. Although we never forget, it seems as though we try to. We’ve lost our will to continue a war that has been largely mismanaged by one incompetent Defense Secretary after another, at the direction of politicians that just don’t understand battle the way a soldier does. We fight on, but to what end?

Although I cannot predict where this war will take us, nor do I wish the continuance of endangering our brave men and women that fight, I sit here with great pride and comfort knowing that we are being protected by a front line of troops that are the very best the world itself has to offer, much less a country. When you thin you’ve seen it all from these brave folks, along comes a story of someone who shows us the meaning of service above self.

On Thursday, President Obama placed a phone call to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta. The President called to inform him that he will be awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of gallantry at the risk of his life that went above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Giunta will be the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. That brings a tear to the eye, but the watery mess will only be exasperated after reading about what he did. From the White House:


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.

I think I’ll go to bed now. I suddenly feel very secure in my country, my brothers in arms, and our military. I know this man is but one example of those brave acts that happen every day, but are not recorded.

Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta: Thanks! That’s all I can offer.

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