Hero!

I post this because you need to know. It is a well done piece with actual video of the ambush that took the life of Sergeant Josh Brennan and the courageous action Sergeant Sal Giunta took to save his life. I was stunned. It is, as he says, the kind of courage all in the US military have. He is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since Vietnam and it is so only through the grace of God and his military training. Please take the time to watch this excellent report by ABC’s Martha Raditz all the way through. Sgt, Giunta exemplifies the kind of men and women who serve in our armed forces. The kind of people who have served America since this nation was founded.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHVRArym55g

Imagine watching your best friend being dragged off by the Taliban. Imagine as you watch shots flying everywhere. Try to imagine what would be going through your head. Imagine such courage.

UPDATE: I thought I would take this time to honor another Medal Of honor winner from my hometown, Saugerties, New York. A small town boy who acted with similar courage during Vietnam. Then Captain Roger Donlon was America’s first Medal of Honor recipient in that war.

For five hours Captain Donlon moved from position to position, dragging needed supplies and ammo to the defenders of Nam Dong, directing fire, and encouraging his men. Upon entering one of his teams own mortar pits and finding most of the men wounded, he directed their withdrawal to a position 30 meters away and provided cover fire for them. Then, while attempting to drag the severely wounded Pop Alamo from the same position, he was hit again by mortar fire that wounded him in the shoulder and killed his team sergeant. Struggling 30 yards further from the abandoned pit, he found four wounded Nungs lying beside a brick wall. He used a sock as a tourniquet for one, tore his shirt into bandages for the others, then stuffed a remaining scrap into the bleeding hole in his stomach. Before continuing on he propped them against the wall with weapons in their hands, encouraging them to continue the defense. As he moved from position to position, he was hit again…and again…and again. Shrapnel pierced his leg, his face, his entire body. But with determination he battled the fatigue and wounds to continue to lead his men, tend their wounds, direct their fire, and personally defend his “Outpost of Freedom”. When morning dawned the five hour battle had left 55 of the South Vietnamese and Nung defenders of Nam Dong dead, another 65 wounded. Pop Alamo and John Houston were also dead, never to witness the birth of children their pregnant wives were bearing at home. But the defenders at Nam Dong had held through the night, outnumbered at least 3 to 1 by a reinforced battalion of enemy soldiers. Donlon’s team would become one of the most highly decorated units in Army history.

As an aside, when the New York Times came to Saugerties to do a piece on Capt. Donlon, the photographer asked the few kids there to stand near him. I was one of the lucky kids and the picture ended up on the Times front page. I still have the photo.

4 replies
  1. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Our soldiers are the best of the best and I give thanks to them each and every day. I thought the children born in 1982 and after were spoiled, I was so wrong. may God Bless all the troops!

  2. Law-AbidingCitizen
    Law-AbidingCitizen says:

    Every day in routine patrols, guard duty, human intelligence gathering or simply riding in a vehicle, our men and women of our United States of America's military forces are in harm's way. Whether it is it is doing something simple like returning fire or bringing more ammunition up to the squad automatic machine gunner, these courageous men and women choose to do the right thing and support their comrades in a fire fight, in contact with the enemy, and numerous other situations where they run the possibility of a bullet, RPG, or something else that could end his or her life in an instant.

    That Sergeant Sal Giunta saw it as his duty to rush to the aid of his friend and fellow soldier Sergeant Josh Brennan, who unfortunately died as a result of his wounds, is the true essence of what being a soldier is; without regard for his own safety, he followed his instincts and his training and retrieved  Sergeant Josh Brennan. No easy job, he could easily have been killed. Sergeant Giunta knew instantly that he could not let his friend be captured by the Taliban; capture by them was utterly unthinkable. Military awards are usually decided upon by one's superior officer who makes a recommendation which is them forwarded up the chain of command where it may or may not be acted upon. Because Sergeant Sal Giunta not only had many of his fellow soldiers to corroborate his amazing feat, it was also attested to by non-military sources including video.

    To all of our fine, courageous, intrepid members of the military, I offer my salute and eternal gratitude.

    It is not what one does when when being observed (unknowingly) as Sergeant Sal Giunta was; it is doing the right thing at the right time, simply because it is right, that so many of our military personnel do without a second thought, without any thought that their actions would win them an award. That makes Sergeant Sal Giunta actions so special. Special enough to be recognized by the United States Congress who is giving this award, an award that you cannot ask for, an award that so many recipients never knew they earned as it was given posthumously.

    I salute Sergeant Sal Giunta for his actions and wish him a long and prosperous life.

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