Obama Awards Medal Of Honor To Iowa Staff Sergeant - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama Awards Medal Of Honor To Iowa Staff Sergeant

WASHINGTON - An Army staff sergeant who stepped into the line of fire to help a pair of comrades on the Afghan battlefield has been given a Medal of Honor, the nation's top military award.

President Barack Obama awarded the medal to Salvatore Giunta Tuesday. That makes the 25-year-old Iowan the first living service member from the Iraq or Afghanistan wars to be so honored. Seven others have received the award posthumously.

Obama called Giunta a solider who is "as humble as he is heroic" and said the ceremony was a "joyous occasion."

The Army says Giunta was a rifle team leader in eastern Afghanistan's Korengal Valley when his squad was split in two after an ambush by insurgents. While under fire, Giunta pulled a fellow soldier to cover and rescued another who was being dragged away by the enemy.

Story: A medal's burden: Honoring unheralded heroes

"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, prior to Tuesday's event.

Giunta, who enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating from Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, is now stationed in Italy with the Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He was in his second tour of duty in Afghanistan at the time of the ambush.

Giunta, who was previously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, among other medals, called his parents after hearing from the president, his father said.

"He was very honored to talk to the president but he's very reserved about it," Steven Giunta said. "It's not something he's comfortable with, the event or the Medal of Honor.

Steven Giunta said his son is humbled because he believes he was just doing what he was supposed to be doing.

"He mentions every other soldier would have done the same thing. It kind of rocks his world that he's being awarded the Medal of Honor for something each and every one of them would have done. He's very aware of that."

"What a privilege and honor it is and what the men have done over the years to receive it, the feat, the above and beyond portion of it, it's amazing to me," Steven Giunta said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Cheney teacher's Twitter thread on letting student sleep goes viral

    Cheney teacher's Twitter thread on letting student sleep goes viral

    Monday, May 21 2018 9:34 PM EDT2018-05-22 01:34:14 GMT

    CHENEY, Wash. - A Cheney High School English teacher let a student sleep in his class last week and the thread on Twitter describing the reason has gone viral.  Monte Syrie tweeted the reason he let the student, Meg, sleep in class last week and the thread caught the attention of many.  The thread reads in its entirety here: 

    >>

    CHENEY, Wash. - A Cheney High School English teacher let a student sleep in his class last week and the thread on Twitter describing the reason has gone viral.  Monte Syrie tweeted the reason he let the student, Meg, sleep in class last week and the thread caught the attention of many.  The thread reads in its entirety here: 

    >>
  • Friends remember Spokane man fatally stabbed

    Friends remember Spokane man fatally stabbed

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 2:05 AM EDT2018-05-22 06:05:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Friends and family are devastated and heartbroken over the death of 28-year-old Corey Ward, who was stabbed and slashed by a killer. Ward did not survive and so far, Spokane police haven't made any arrests. It happened on May 17 just before midnight in the 2400 block of West Cleveland in Northwest Spokane.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Friends and family are devastated and heartbroken over the death of 28-year-old Corey Ward, who was stabbed and slashed by a killer. Ward did not survive and so far, Spokane police haven't made any arrests. It happened on May 17 just before midnight in the 2400 block of West Cleveland in Northwest Spokane.

    >>
  • Florida man climbs on playground equipment, tells kids where babies come from

    Florida man climbs on playground equipment, tells kids where babies come from

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 1:56 AM EDT2018-05-22 05:56:04 GMT

    CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - A 30-year-old Florida man was fined $118 and ordered to stay away from a park after police say the man climbed on playground equipment and yelled at children in the area about where babies come from. Otis Dawayne Ryan was taken into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon in Clearwater Beach, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

    >>

    CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - A 30-year-old Florida man was fined $118 and ordered to stay away from a park after police say the man climbed on playground equipment and yelled at children in the area about where babies come from. Otis Dawayne Ryan was taken into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon in Clearwater Beach, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/