Image: D. Myles Cullen for DoD
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the nation’s only living Medal of Honor recipient for the current wars, is leaving the U.S. Army and will focus on his education, a spokesman said.
Giunta will leave in mid-June of this year. He and his wife are planning to move to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he will continue his education using the GI Bill, said Todd Oliver, a spokesman for Giunta’s unit in Italy.
“Those that know him are not surprised by this,” said Lt. Col. Greg Hapgood of the Iowa National Guard. Giunta is an Iowa native and Hapgood acted as the family’s point of contact during the media frenzy surrounding his medal.
Giunta was awarded the Medal of Honor in November for his deeds in a fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan in October 2007.
Giunta “killed one of the guys who was dragging my team leader away, Sgt. (Josh) Brennan,” Sgt. Franklin Eckrode, who was in the same squad, told CNN in November. “Wounded another one. Recovered Sgt. Brennan. Brought him back to an area where we could secure him and continue the fight. Started the aid on him.”
Every member of that platoon was struck by enemy fire that night. The medic, Spc. Hugo Mendoza of El Paso, Texas, was killed. Giunta was hit twice by bullets: One hit his armored vest, the other hit a weapon on his back. Neither caused serious injuries.
Giunta went back to work with his unit moments after the attack ended.
He served two tours in Afghanistan over seven years.
Source: Larry Shaughnessy for CNN.
Image: D. Myles Cullen for DoD Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the nation's only living Medal…
by Ed Nowicki / Feb 9, 2011