Occupation:Medal of Honor Recipient
Superman Hall of Heroes inductee Salvatore Giunta is a former United States Army soldier and a true American hero. His altruism, courage and leadership in combat have earned him numerous awards and recognitions, including the U.S. military’s highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor.
Salvatore (“Sal”) Augustine Giunta was born in Iowa on January 21, 1985. He is the son of Steven, a medical equipment technician, and Rosemary, a pre-school teacher, and the oldest of three siblings.
Giunta is a former staff sergeant in the United States Army and the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War and the eighth service member to receive the nation’s highest military decoration for valor in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Giunta participated in seven training deployments to Germany and two training deployments to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. He also participated in two combat deployments to Afghanistan. His first combat deployment was during Operation Enduring Freedom VI from March 2005 to March 2006 and his second combat deployment to Afghanistan was during Operation Enduring Freedom VIII from May 2007 to July 2008. During his second deployment on October 25, 2007, Giunta’s platoon (in which he was then a Specialist serving as a rifle team leader) was ambushed in the rugged Korengal Valley of eastern Afghanistan.
Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself with acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. When an insurgent force split his squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, he noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy -- killing one and wounding the other -- and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. 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 paratrooper from enemy hands.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Giunta has received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, as well as several other medals, ribbons and badges.