11 September 2010

Medal of Honor to be awarded for Afghanistan

For the first time since the end of the Vietnam War, the Medal of Honor will be awarded to a living man. ZUI this article from the Wall Street Journal:
On a moonlit Afghan ridge in 2007, Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta ran alone through a barrage of gunfire to rescue a friend being dragged off by insurgent fighters.

On Friday, the White House said Sgt. Giunta will receive the Medal of Honor for his bravery, making him the first living serviceman from the Iraq or Afghan wars to receive the nation's highest military award.

"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," the White House said.


The selection of a living Medal of Honor recipient comes as welcome news to the military. The seven medals from Iraq or Afghanistan announced until now had been for men killed performing the acts of courage for which they were being recognized.


Sgt. Giunta's action came on his second deployment to Afghanistan, when his unit — Co. B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne) — was operating in the Korengal Valley, at the time considered the most dangerous spot in the country for U.S. troops.

ZUI also this article from the New York Times, this one from the Los Angeles Times, and this press release from the White House. Note that "[f]urther information about the date and time of the ceremony will be released at a later date."

1 comment:

cagey said...

I thought this guy would've been a good candidate:

The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Navy Cross

Brian R. Chontosh
First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps

For Services as Set Forth in the Following Citation:

For extraordinary heroism as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 25 March 2003. While leading his platoon north on Highway I toward Ad Diwaniyah, First Lieutenant Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, First Lieutenant Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.

When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, First Lieutenant Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers. When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.[1]

By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.