Lets hear it for the VETS Blog by DJ KRAZY
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The Associated Press 
updated 11/15/2010 7:37:25 PM ET 2010-11-16T00:37:25
Share Print Font: +-DES MOINES, Iowa — A 25-year-old soldier from Iowa who exposed himself to enemy gunfire to try to save two fellow soldiers will become the first living service member from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the Medal of Honor.

President Barack Obama phoned Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta at the base in Italy where he's stationed to tell him he'd be receiving the nation's highest military honor, Giunta's father told The Associated Press. He will become the eighth service member to receive the Medal of Honor during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The seven previous medals were awarded posthumously.

"It's bittersweet for us," said Steven Giunta, of Hiawatha. "We're very proud of Sal. We can't mention that enough, but in this event, two other soldiers were killed and that weighs heavy on us. You get very happy and very proud and then you start dealing with the loss as well. You can't have one without the other."

Giunta was serving as a rifle team leader with Company B 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment when an insurgent ambush split his squad into two groups on Oct. 25, 2007, in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, the White House said in a news release.

Giunta went above and beyond the call of duty when he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a fellow soldier back to cover. He engaged the enemy again when he saw two insurgents carrying away another soldier, killing one insurgent and wounding the other before providing aid to the injured soldier, who died of his wounds.

"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.

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.

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.

Giunta will be awarded his medal at a White House ceremony on Tuesday.

The President presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to Staff Sgt. Robert Miller in a White House ceremony on Oct. 6.


does ANYONE really know where the money they spend on drugs is goin? its goin to be used to kill or hurt Border patrol agents, DEA and or FBI in other countries that are there tryin to help ease the flow of drugs. They are going to terrorist to kill US troops too. In Afghanistan they farm pot and opium. guess who the number one demander of those drugs is? THE US. so if your truely patriotic or have family serving, think about this really hard. you may have bought the bullet, the rpg, the greneade, the ied that killed a US soldier in iraq or Afghanistan. SO IF YOU REALLY "SUPPORT" THE TROOPS FREAKIN STOP DOING DRUGS!!!!!!!!!

Take Care Of Our Veterans They Gave You Freedom
Thank A Veteran

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open. The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying,

'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine.

He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're having a problem.'

He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problemwas, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling methat he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question,'What outfit did you serve with?'

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket.. We all shook hands all around again and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me.

One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name...... 'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'

I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have beenin his presence. Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM for America .

Thanks to those who served...& those who supported them.

America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Mall. If you don't stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!

Remember, Freedom isn't Free, thousands have paid the price so you can enjoy what you have today.













~~This is from a UK newspaper~~

World War 2 veteran uses pension to pay for commemoration for a soldier killed in Afghanistan


A World War 2 veteran has used his pension to commemorate a soldier killed in Afghanistan after accusing the council of failing to honour the young man’s death.




L/Cpl Dane Elson of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was killed whilst on patrol in Babaji in Helmand Province: British soldier killed in Afghanistan named

L/Cpl Dane Elson of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was killed whilst on patrol in Babaji in Helmand Province Photo: PA


Joseph Ponting, 87, a former paratrooper, was appalled when civic leaders in his home town announced nothing official would be done to mark the death of L/Cpl Dane Elson, 22, who was killed by a roadside bomb in July last year.


So he dug deep to by a £120 brass plate which he had engraved. It will be unveiled in a special ceremony at L/Cpl’s former school, Archway School in Stroud, Glos, on Thursday.


Mr Ponting, who lives with his wife Alice, 88, read about L/Cpl Elson’s death in Helmand Province in the local newspaper.


He said: “He took it upon himself to provide covering fire for his section and he paid the ultimate price.


“I put myself in his shoes and decided he did what I would have done.


“I sat back and waited to see what would happen to celebrate the bravery of this lad who was brought up here and nothing happened.


“So I went and sorted it out myself.”


Friends said Mr Ponting was “incensed” that civic dignitaries in Stroud had not done more.


L/Cpl Elson, who served with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was killed while on patrol in Babaji. His family now live in Bridgend, mid Glamorgan.


Mr Ponting, who was awarded eight military medals, saw active service in Arnhem during the 1940s and was a POW before escaping while on the hunger march into Czechoslovakia.


L/Cpl Elson moved to the UK with his family as a child and was a pupil at Archway. After completing his army training, he joined the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in 2004.


He served in Iraq in 2004/05, and in Bosnia in 2006/07 before being promoted to Lance Corporal during the pre-deployment training for Afghanistan.


His father, Stuart, will travel from Bridgend to take part in today’s unveiling.


He said he was “touched” by Mr Ponting’s gesture, adding: “It’s amazing the kind of emotions these old soldiers still remember feeling.”


After L/Cpl Elson’s death, his battalion’s second-in-command, Major Andrew Speed, said the soldier was so keen to get out to Afghanistan that when he broke his wrist he offered to cut off the plaster and pretend it was healed so his deployment would not be delayed.


He said: "It was so typical of L/Cpl Elson to have been providing cover and looking out for his mates when he died. He lived his life with a very selfless ethos which inspired others."

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