A compelling memoir from a true hero - and one of the few living persons to ever be awarded the celebrated Medal of 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 20 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.
©2012 Sal Giunta (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc
Just finished “Living with Honor: A Memoir” by Sal Giunta. I found it to be an excellent read and I highly recommend it. For those who don’t know; Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta is the first living recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He is also a Cougar ’04 (alum of Kennedy HS in Cedar Rapids, IA).Though a couple decades earlier; as an alum of Kennedy HS myself, I easily relate to much of his early story about growing up in Cedar Rapids and attending Kennedy. As a veteran, with a combat MOS, Sgt Giunta’s depiction of enlistment, training and comradery brought back so many memories; few unwanted, but most more than welcome and missed. For that I thank him. That said, I cannot imagine, not even remotely, the experience this brave man and his “boys” went through in Afghanistan or the impacts of those experiences has had on them, their families and their friends.Sgt. Giunta, I thank you and your buddies for your sacrifice to serve and protect this great nation and I thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m so thankful we have citizens like you. God Bless !!!
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. True heroes are few and far between. Circumstance are never the same, challenges are always different, but heroes float to the top. They are not perfect; like all of us they have their flaws, but when steel meets steel their character shines as a beacon for all of us. Sgt. Giunta and Lt Zamperini rise to the highest level.
The scene that describes how Sgt. Giunta earned the Medal of Honor is a great story, though horrific because of the loss of life. But honestly my favorite was when Sal ran into a high school classmate in Italy that led to his meeting his future wife Jenny.
There were many, but the one that most moved me was the letter Sgt. Giunta received from his father.
Only about 1% of our population stand guard to protect our freedom and liberty. These are volunteers who believe in this great experiment in democracy so much that they ante their own lives. Not all of us can match their strength, their patriotism or their sacrifice, but all can and should thank them, praise them and support them.
Adventure, education, inspiration. Allow these stories of others to carry you to your own dreams. Read. Then take action!
Sal Giuntas accounts of army life in Afganistan, he loyalty to the me he served with and the humble manner he accepted his Medal of Honor are inspiring. It is a story of a tough soldier a tough man who did his duty and with out intent found himself a hero. What a wonderful read of a man easy to respect and admire
The loss of men who were supposed to be invinsible giants.
Excels at bringing to story to life in the passion with which they tell it
Yes and did
Thank you Sal, for your brave and compassionate duty to our nation and your fellow men in arms. Great story. Ive never listened to a story like this before. I was totally enthralled and felt your every emotion. Well done!
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What I loved best about Living with Honor was how Giunta talked the talk and proved that his talk was for real when it came to battle and his fellow Americans.Those men became closer to him than his own brother. He continues to keep in touch with a few of them now. He lived with them, sometimes in very close quarters. He ate, fought, used a homemade hole dug in the ground with slats, for a bathroom, that was patrolled while he used it. He was never alone while active in the battlefields of Afghanistan. There was one man that Giunta mentioned who went outside to use the bathroom alone and did not make it back alive.
Guinta was my favorite character because when he signed up with the Army, he wanted to do his best. He proved that and so much more. Guinta was the kind of soldier, that another soldier would be glad when they were fighting on the same battlefield together. He always covered every comrade's back. That's what I would call trust. He not only saved other's from an untimely death but other's saved him, too. When fighting in war men become more bonded with one another than with their own brother's. Salvatore continues to keep in contact with a few men to this day.
The scene that stands out in my mind is when there was an intense battle being fought in Afghanistan and when Sal looked over his shoulder he couldn't believe what he saw. Guinta, while running, glanced back and said, " those Afghanistan's have our man." He ran like the road runner, up a steep, craggy mountain and retrieved his comrade. He brought him back down using a fireman's carry. His comment was that he killed one and only wounded the other. He could only hope that the other one died, too.
War and the Men who Fight Back for America's Freedom
I realized that while listening to this novel, the war in Afghanistan was being fought as I listened, in real time. Men have fought since the beginning of time. Osama bin Laden is dead. He was found in a cave with the amenities of life and then some. SEAL Team Six, the best of the best, nailed him. I'm glad we were able to mete out a small amount of revenge. There is not enough revenge in the world that could repay him and Afghanistan for the lives of our fellow American's. However, Afghanistan's way of living will not change. Their many tribes and ways of government are varied and will never be united into one. Let's bring our men and women back home. American's have served their country beyond all expectations but the war on terrorism will not be won by letting more American's die. War today is a different kind of war than before.
After you listen to this memoir, you will understand why Salvatore Guinta received the Medal of Honor. I'm proud that he is an American.
The narrator was excellent. I felt as if I was in the story. I've been listening to varied narrator's of late and I'm finding they are story appropriate.
I think that I could read this book again. However, if I've written a review about a book, I can reconstruct it fairly well or if I start to listen again, everything comes back. When I am unable to do that, the book may not have been that good a book or I was having a bad day. But I have read a book more than once because I felt a need to reread, even if I know what is going to happen. There are very special books that insist I read them again.
When Sal was stationed in Germany awaiting to be called up to go to Iraq or Afghanistan, he met a woman he had went to high school with. She was in Italy for an overseas, suggested teaching experience, for college. He began to go visit the sites of the country with the group and did find a woman he married after he left the army. She actually left school for awhile and came to live in Italy to be near him. It's a small world.
Your credit will not be wasted if you enjoy reading about war. The book was interesting, a learning experience, well written and a book that you may want to read in one day. Yes, I think it's that good.
The down-to-earth personality of the author. Like many MOH recipients he does not consider himself or his actions to be heroic.
When the describing the situation that ended up getting Sgt Giunta the Medal of Honor no introduction of the battle was made. It was described as another patrol or action and found themselves in a world of hurt. Being retired military I know several people who would have done the same exact thing Sgt Giunta did.
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