Video: Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta receives the Medal of Honor

posted at 4:17 pm on November 16, 2010 by Allahpundit

You already know all about Giunta, I hope. If not, avail yourself: I’ve written about him twice before, “60 Minutes” profiled him recently, and the Army’s done its typical superb job of creating a multimedia showcase about the man, his life, and his uncommon valor. (This, especially, is worth reading in full.) The battlescape feature at the Army page isn’t animated and narrated the way it was for Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, so if you’re looking for something in that vein, this CNN clip will help you visualize what Giunta and his squad faced that day.

The ceremony’s long but take two minutes to watch the presentation at around 19:00. Fewer than 3,500 American servicemen have received the MOH; a majority since World War II haven’t lived to see the ceremony. Giunta, in fact, is the very first since Vietnam to make it from the battlefield to the East Room. Watching him smile sheepishly as the room applauds is thus hopelessly bittersweet, gratifying in that he got to enjoy the recognition he deserves but painful as a reminder that most others didn’t. A precious moment. Don’t miss it.


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Watching him smile sheepishly as the room applauds is thus hopelessly bittersweet, gratifying in that he got to enjoy the recognition he deserves but painful as a reminder that most others didn’t. A precious moment.

Indeed. Thanks, Allahpundit.

itsnotaboutme on November 16, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Finally, some good news

Kini on November 16, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Bless you, sir.

You are a true Hero.

portlandon on November 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Thank for Posting this Allah.

upinak on November 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Did anyone else watching this ceremony hear Obama say he was going off script.

Kini on November 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Absolute greatness and petty smallness right there in one screen. Guess who is which.

Western_Civ on November 16, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Sgt. Giunta, clearly a good man, embarrassed for the praise for ‘just doing his duty’ as he thinks of it. Setting a standard by assuming the rest of us would do the same were we in that circumstance.

Skandia Recluse on November 16, 2010 at 4:23 PM

I wonder if Obama will pull a Forrest Gump, and show his own battle scar from the midterm elections…

percysunshine on November 16, 2010 at 4:24 PM

AS I said when they first announced it …

“Mr. President, here’s the young Airborne soldier that you’ll be presenting the Medal of Honor to.”

“Ah, yes, come on in, Airman. So, how long have you been in the Marine Corpse?”

God bless this hero!

Tony737 on November 16, 2010 at 4:29 PM

I only log in to post occasionally. I will log on as an Iowa girl to say. Thank God for Sgt. Guinta. God Bless you and your family. Thank you for your courage and service.

I am a Marin County Conservitive.

surfer girl on November 16, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Maybe it’s just me but… why, at the end of the ceremony didnt obummer do the presidential thing? Stand off in a corner and let the Hero get his deserved recognition. No, he strolls around the room, leaving the Sgt. alone on the stage, shaking hands and jabbering like he earned the medal. Not very presidential IMO.

maintenanceman on November 16, 2010 at 4:33 PM


You already know all about Giunta …

Yes, WE do here on HotAir, because we are the kind of people who care about this sort of thing. The sad part is that most of the rest of the country has no idea who this man is … but ask them who Jessica Simpson is bangin’ and they’ll tell you all about it.

Tony737 on November 16, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Didn’t see the vid, but I hope Obama saluted him.

Alden Pyle on November 16, 2010 at 4:36 PM

It must really gall Obama to be forced into a situation where he has to publicly laud and pretend to honor someone for something he finds antiquated, unsophisticated, war-mongering, nationalist, and counter-productive to his personal aspirations of undermining the country this man serves.

It must gall him to stand beside a man of such character, knowing that the majority of Americans can plainly see the disparity between this fine soldier and the pathetic megalomaniac who commands him.

Forgive me. I don’t mean to detract from the honorific tenor of this thread. But to see such a thing – this petulant, malevolent, would-be dictator – going through the motions of Commander-in-Chief… well… that galls me to the core.

IronDioPriest on November 16, 2010 at 4:36 PM

I watched the 60 minutes piece and was moved.

After saying he was just and average, medicor solder, he said “if I’m receiving the MOH for being an average solder, imagine how great the good ones are.”

God bless this man.

WisRich on November 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM

“mediocre”

WisRich on November 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM

In an age when the word “hero” is thrown around like confetti, this man is the real deal.

Grow Fins on November 16, 2010 at 4:41 PM

I am a Marin County Conservitive.

surfer girl on November 16, 2010 at 4:31 PM

I feel your pain.

jbh45 on November 16, 2010 at 4:41 PM

IronDioPriest

Can’t you give it a rest, just for a minute?

Grow Fins on November 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Guinta is a real American hero. God bless him.
I’m a long time friend of the mom of one of the soldiers that died that day.

Tygrlili on November 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I don’t know where we find such Americans, but thank God we do. God bless Staff Sgt. Giunta, truly an American hero.

d1carter on November 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I didn’t run through fire to do anything heroic or brave.

That’s what makes one a hero…taking action because action needs to be taken at a critical moment.

MadisonConservative on November 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I am a Marin County Conservitive.

surfer girl on November 16, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Probably the only one. LOL

maintenanceman on November 16, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Every time I read any MoH citation, it chokes me up. Seeing Staff Sgt. Giunta receive it brought me well beyond that point!

That man is a thousand times the man that I could ever be, and his humility about it just drives that point home.

Thank God for men like him!

Canucker on November 16, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Cheers to a great American Staff Sgt. Giunta!..God Speed to you sir!..:):)

Dire Straits on November 16, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Thank God for men like him.

Hog Wild on November 16, 2010 at 4:55 PM

What I heard featured on ABC radio news at the top of the hour about this was Obama saying he was “going off script” to say, “I like this guy.”

I gather that the ceremony wasn’t all about honoring somebody just because Obama likes him. It’s nice Staff St. Giunta got to bask in his reflected glory. /sarc

Drained Brain on November 16, 2010 at 4:56 PM

As a father of a Sky Soldier (2/503 173rd) just back from Afghanistan I thought the President did a fine job in this ceremony. I’m no fan of him or his policies, but I chose to think of the office here and in that capacity of I thought handled it well

lahlon on November 16, 2010 at 4:56 PM

More Kleenex please, Allah.

Pasalubong on November 16, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Great job Sergeant Giunta. Saving the one soldier from enemy hands was worth it.

darwin on November 16, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Thanks for posting this AP. It’s at once tragic, yet gratifying to know that the United States of America produces men and women of uncommon valor on a daily basis. We seldom get to recognize and reward their resolve and dedication to this great nation. Today, in this one instance, we did. Sergeant Giunta proves once again that action speaks louder than words and we, as a nation, are grateful.

GoldenEagle4444 on November 16, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Grow Fins

No, I can’t “give it a rest”. There is no longer any merit in pretending that Obama is anything other than a domestic enemy. There is no doubt in my mind that he would have rather been doing just about anything other than giving honor to a heroic soldier, aside from whatever mojo he believed he could steal by osmosis from a man of such character.

IronDioPriest on November 16, 2010 at 5:15 PM

No, I can’t “give it a rest”. There is no longer any merit in pretending that Obama is anything other than a domestic enemy. There is no doubt in my mind that he would have rather been doing just about anything other than giving honor to a heroic soldier, aside from whatever mojo he believed he could steal by osmosis from a man of such character.

IronDioPriest on November 16, 2010 at 5:15 PM

There’s a time and place for everything. And while not many here disagree with a word you said … this thread is neither the time nor the place.

SSG Giunta likely didn’t vote for him either, but he was clearly honored. And for what its worth, the President did about as good of a job as could have been hoped for, all things considered.

Give it a rest. There are a few dozen other threads waiting for you.

Didn’t see the vid, but I hope Obama saluted him.

Alden Pyle on November 16, 2010 at 4:36 PM

No. President Bush would have. And SSG Giunta turned around clearly expecting a salute of one sort or another. A little bit awkward all around.

But other than that, a pretty nice moment. For all concerned.

Professor Blather on November 16, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Can’t you give it a rest, just for a minute?

Grow Fins on November 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Insanity never sleeps.

Dark-Star on November 16, 2010 at 5:23 PM

God bless SS Giunta and God speed to his brothers in arms. Thanks to each and every one of you!

csdeven on November 16, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Every time I read any MoH citation, it chokes me up. Seeing Staff Sgt. Giunta receive it brought me well beyond that point!

That man is a thousand times the man that I could ever be, and his humility about it just drives that point home.

Thank God for men like him!

Canucker on November 16, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Thank you, Canucker, you said it better than I could.

Gang-of-One on November 16, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Hey, if you read that Army webpage article, you’d learn that Sal already won the top prize with Jennifer. Pretty, blonde, educated, taller than him, and totally devoted to the guy.

Nice…

In light of those facts, that hunk of metal Obama drooped around Sal’s neck is just icing.

ScottMcC on November 16, 2010 at 5:24 PM

From a grateful nation. Thank you Staff Sgt. Giunta

juanito on November 16, 2010 at 5:27 PM

May God Bless SSG Sal Giunta and all of our fighting men and women.

Zorro on November 16, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Salute.

pseudonominus on November 16, 2010 at 5:28 PM

The icing on this cake of awesome: Sgt. Giunta is now officially nominated as Badass of the Week.

http://badassoftheweek.com/giunta.html

(BTW, the list is worth a read-through, start at 2005 or so. There are dozens of other armed forces members who have earned their medals and their article many times over.)

Dark-Star on November 16, 2010 at 5:30 PM

My dad told me a long time ago that Medal of Honor recipients are to be saluted by everyone including the President of the United States – is this true? Obama gave him a hug. Maybe I am nitpicking.

tommer74 on November 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM

that should have read “everyone in the US military including the”

tommer74 on November 16, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Last time I checked you do NOT salute indoors.

SgtSVJones on November 16, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Interviewer…”what kind of soldier are you?”
Staff Sgt Giunta…”average”
Interviewer…”Pretty high honor for an “average” soldier.”
Staff Sgt Giunter…”Just imagine how great the good ones are”.
**tear**

From this “Proud Army Mom”….thank-you SS Giunta…..You are truely an American Hero.

tencole on November 16, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Congratulations Sir! ..As for obama,I bet he would rather be golfing.

ohiobabe on November 16, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Salute

dogsoldier on November 16, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Did anyone else watching this ceremony hear Obama say he was going off script.

Kini on November 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM

I heard that on the radio, but I’m certain those words were on Teleprompter. The Bamster also said he admired Giunta, which I don’t believe a word of. Like most progressives, Bammie probably thinks those that fight in the military are fools.

slickwillie2001 on November 16, 2010 at 6:12 PM

I don’t know where we find such Americans, but thank God we do. God bless Staff Sgt. Giunta, truly an American hero.

d1carter on November 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Well said.

scalleywag on November 16, 2010 at 6:14 PM

My dad told me a long time ago that Medal of Honor recipients are to be saluted by everyone including the President of the United States – is this true? – Tom

Totally true. This is the only soldier that Obama has to salute.

Tony737 on November 16, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Iowa, says it all.

Wade on November 16, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Professor Blather on November 16, 2010 at 5:22 PM

You can give it a rest, it’s your choice. I’ll continue focusing like a laser on the malfeasance of this President, and the myriad ways in which he demeans the office and undermines the country.

Until he’s removed and his malignant ideology relegated to the fringe of society along with the KKK and NAMBLA, the Queensbury Rules are suspended, in my estimation.

IronDioPriest on November 16, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Congratulations SSG Giunta. What an extraordinary young man. I am a proud Iowan and American tonight.

ted c on November 16, 2010 at 6:42 PM

I wish I were still on Active Duty so I could salute this young man.

Craniac on November 16, 2010 at 6:57 PM

God Bless You, SSgt Giunta. You are a true hero.

KSgop on November 16, 2010 at 7:28 PM

HOOAH!!! Well done, Soldier.

CantCureStupid on November 16, 2010 at 7:52 PM

We grow them good here in Iowa :o) I am so proud of this young man. Brave and humble in the extreme.

IowaWoman on November 16, 2010 at 8:04 PM

“BRAVO ZULU!”

SALUTE!!

Khun Joe on November 17, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Congrats to a hero! I’m also a native Iowan
Btw: A young Marine will also be receiving the ‘Medal’ in person.
I don’t know the details.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 17, 2010 at 12:55 AM

The President has to read his opening remarks almost in the entirety. He can barely keep his eyes off the paper. It looks to me like he didn’t spend much time studying the remarks. What on paper is well written comes out sounding dry and hollow.

In contrast, when, in his own words, the President “goes off script,” he finally engages the audience by saying he “really likes this guy.” Too bad it was a totally awkward thing to say. We know it was off script because (a) it’s the only thing you didn’t read to us; and (b) it’s the only thing that sounds inane. He says it as if he’s almost surprised that he would like a war hero.

This is the kind of moment that Ronald Reagan would knock out of the park. Had Obama made any effort to prepare and commit his opening remarks to memory, he could have done the same thing. Instead, he squanders an opportunity to be our President. It says a lot to me. Why wouldn’t he spend an hour and a half getting ready for this? After all, it doesn’t happen very often. It shows you a lot about his priorities. Add this to the “proof that Obama is detached” file.

An Objectivist on November 17, 2010 at 7:09 PM