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In Afghan war first, award goes to living vet
WASHINGTON (AP) — The first living service member from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the Medal of Honor said Saturday the award honors more than a dozen fellow soldiers who were part of a deadly ambush three years ago.
“My wife was with me, and she heard me say, ‘Mr. President,’ so we knew then,” Giunta told The Associated Press.
Giunta was serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment when an insurgent ambush split his squad into two groups on Oct. 25, 2007, in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, the White House said in a news release.
Giunta went above and beyond the call of duty when he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a fellow soldier back to cover, the White House said. He engaged the enemy again when he saw two insurgents carrying away a wounded soldier, Sgt. Joshua C. Brennan, 22, of McFarland, Wis. Giunta killed one insurgent and wounded the other before tending to Brennan, who died the next day.
“His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon’s ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American soldier from enemy hands,” the White House said.
About 16 soldiers fought alongside him, Giunta said, and all did their part.
“My piece of the puzzle is what everyone is interested in right now, but it was not the only one,” Giunta said.
The White House has not scheduled a ceremony to award the medal.
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