WASHINGTON - Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, along with the rest of the Iowa Congressional delegation, held a ceremony presenting Hiawatha native Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta with a Concurrent Resolution honoring his incredible valor and courage on the battlefield.
Giunta, a native of Hiawatha, was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, by President Barack Obama on November 16, 2010 for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in Afghanistan on October 25, 2007. Giunta is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Giunta was also a guest in First Lady Michelle Obama's box for President Obama's State of the Union address last night.
"Staff Sgt. Giunta is a selfless and courageous hero that all Iowans can be proud to call one of their own," Grassley said. "He is truly deserving of the highest honor given to an American service member. May God continue to bless him and all those in the armed services protecting our nation."
"In recent years, Americans have woken up to the truth that our real heroes are not on our movie screens or in our sports arenas," Harkin said. "Our real heroes are serving our nation in uniform with enormous professionalism, sacrifice, and courage. I have listened very closely to Sergeant Giunta's previous remarks about his actions on that fateful day in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. He is uncomfortable about being singled out. He said: "If I am a hero, every man that stands around me, every woman in the military, everyone who goes into the unknown is a hero."
"I can't disagree with Sergeant Giunta. And I respect his Iowa brand of modesty, which is totally genuine. And I see in him other qualities that we prize in Iowa, including his powerful sense of purpose and duty. But Sergeant Giunta's actions on that day stand out as truly extraordinary and exemplary. The state of Iowa has a right to be very, very proud."
Click here to view video of the event on YouTube.
from Rep. Braley's office:
Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) and members of the Iowa delegation honored Iowa native and Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. Senator Daniel Inouye, also a Medal of Honor recipient, joined the full Iowa delegation to present the joint resolution honoring SSGT. Giunta.
Following the ceremony, Rep. Braley released the following statement
"Staff Sergeant Giunta makes us all proud to be Iowans. His heroic service is a credit to his family, his unit and the state of Iowa. Today, we recognize him for his remarkable heroism - but as he quickly pointed out himself - we must also recognize the everyday heroism of all the men and women in uniform, our veterans, and the military families that take on the proud burden of fighting for our country and defending our freedom.
"It's an honor to recognize Staff Sergeant Giunta and I'm pleased we could welcome him to the Capitol."
SSGT. Giunta is the first living Medal of Honor Recipient since the Vietnam War. He was born in Clinton, IA and his family currently resides in Hiawatha, IA. Giunta was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, by President Barack Obama on November 16, 2010, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in Afghanistan on October 25, 2007.
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