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."