Rarity: Living Soldier Will Get Medal of Honor

Obama to honor soldier's bravery in Afghan firefight
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2010 11:53 AM CDT
This undated handout photo provided by the Defense Department shows Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta.   (AP Photo/Richard Bumgardner, Defense Department)

(Newser) – A young Army specialist who ran through enemy fire in Afghanistan to rescue wounded soldiers will get the Medal of Honor for his bravery, reports the Washington Post. Salvatore Giunta, now a 25-year-old sergeant, will be the first living recipient since the Vietnam War. The US has awarded six medals posthumously from the Iraq and Afghan wars, a relative paucity that critics say has contributed to a general lack of appreciation for those conflicts.

Giunta declined interviews, but he played down his actions in a 2007 interview for Sebastian Junger's book War. "Everything slowed down and I did everything I thought I could do, nothing more and nothing less," he said. "I didn't run through fire to save a buddy. I ran through fire to see what was going on with him and maybe we could hide behind the same rock and shoot together. I didn't run through fire to do anything heroic or brave. I did what I believe anyone would have done."

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