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Medal of Honor awarded to a brave soldier

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Photo: Chuck Kennedy/White House -- President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta at White House ceremony today  November 16, 2010

Photo: Chuck Kennedy/White House -- President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta at White House ceremony today November 16, 2010

A rare ceremony at the White house today. President Barack Obama presented U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, Salvatore Giunta, with the nation’s highest military award — the Medal of Honor.  Sgt. Giunta is the first living service member from either the Iraq or Afghanistan wars to receive this award.

The Medal of Honor is awarded for “conspicuous gallantry” way beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Giunta doesn’t think he did anything special. President Obama says Giunta comrades’ report of his heroism tell a different story.

President Obama:

“Staff Sergeant Giunta, repeatedly and without hesitation, you charged forward through extreme enemy fire, embodying the warrior ethos that says, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” Your actions disrupted a devastating ambush before it could claim more lives. Your courage prevented the capture of an American soldier and brought that soldier back to his family. You may believe that you don’t deserve this honor, but it was your fellow soldiers who recommended you for it. In fact, your commander specifically said in his recommendation that you lived up to the standards of the most decorated American soldier of World War II, Audie Murphy, who famously repelled an overwhelming enemy attack by himself for one simple reason: ‘ They were killing my friends.’ ”

President Obama remarks, including some of the harrowing details of Sgt. Guinta’s actions on October 25, 2007, and more on the White House Blog.

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