Living With Honor
Sal Giunta was just a regular kid from Iowa when he enlisted in the army to figure out what to do with his life. He never thought that a few tours of duty later, he would be the first living person since the Vietnam War to be awarded the esteemed Medal of Honor.
First stationed in Italy and then deployed into Afghanistan, Giunta had a firsthand perspective of the ground war and its daily difficulties—some quotidian in nature, some anything but. He and around 150 of his company were stationed in the dangerous Korengal Valley in 2007, where some of the most intense fighting in the war had taken place. Giunta called it, “basically hell on earth.”
Late one night in October of 2007, Giunta’s company embarked on a sting operation into the Taliban’s forces. They were ambushed on a rugged mountain path by twenty insurgents. Giunta sprang into action and with little regard for his own safety, he withstood enemy fire to administer medical aid to his wounded fellow soldiers—even rescuing one soldier who was being carried away by the insurgents—until his squad reached safety.
For the unrivaled bravery and selflessness of his actions, Giunta was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama. In this fascinating and riveting memoir, he depicts the realities of war, as well as the moment-by-moment details of the event that earned him the nation’s highest distinction.
- Simon & Schuster Audio |
- ISBN 9781442355866 |
- December 2012
Reading Group Guide
Sal Giunta was an ordinary high school student: fair to middling grades, an after school food service job, and no particular direction. Everything changed when he volunteered for the United States Army. Soon he was doing hundreds of push-ups, waking, eating, and sleeping by command of his drill sergeant. In the Army, he met countless guys like him, from all over the country (and the world) looking for a way to serve their country and protect the band of brothers that is the 173rd Battalion. On his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Giunta went behind enemy lines to save a friend and mentor who had been captured. As a result, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor, the first person to receive the distinction in four decades. In this frank and open memoir of coming of age in the Army, Sal Giunta offers an inspirational model for anyone looking for a greater purpose in life and a moving testimonial to the men and women he served with in the 173rd Battalion.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. How did September 11, 2001 influence see more