Medal of Honor Recipient Says He's Average Soldier

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, of Hiawatha, Iowa, the first living Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, waves to the crowd as he rides on the back of a Hiawatha fire truck with his wife Jennifer during a parade in his honor Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010 in Hiawatha. (Brian Ray/ SourceMedia Group News)


By Aaron Hepker

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta (JUN'-tuh), who was awarded the nation's highest military honor for heroism in Afghanistan, says he's just an average soldier.

Giunta spoke at the Air Force Academy last week. His comments were posted on the academy's web site.

The Iowa native is the first living service member to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

In 2007, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a soldier back to cover and shot two insurgents who were trying to carry away another U.S. soldier.

He says his comrades were all in it together and he got the medal because "they had to give it to one person."

The Army says Guinta plans to leave the service and move to Colorado to attend an undisclosed school.

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