Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Real Heroes of the World: Part I

    Within the last month I became intrigued and mystified by a story of a soldier who went above the call of duty. It wasn't so much of the selfless act he preformed that surprised me. It was more of how the public and audience reacted to what was happening and how media coverage, especially in my hometown, was dealt with.

    Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta recently received the Medal of Honor for his bravery and valor in the War in Afghanistan. The event that occurred in which he received this honor happened in 2007. As his platoon was returning back to their home base through a valley at night, they became under attacked by a group of Taliban soldiers. The formation of the Taliban was an "L" so the Americans faced fire from two sides. While under this attacked Giunta realized that a member of his group was missing and went to go look for him, Brennan. Facing continuous gun fire, he continued to go further and realized that there were three people ahead of him. Soon, it came to his attention that two Taliban soldiers were dragging Brennan, severely injured, away. Giunta continued to face the fire and killed one of the Taliban soldiers and injured the other. The Taliban's fled and Giunta recovered Brennan to carry him back. The incident lasted no more than three minutes. Giunta had been shot four times and survived. Brennan was pronounced dead later, after having surgery.

    Not only was Giunta the first to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, but he also sent a powerful message to all. The message was that today, the military continues to make sacrifices for our freedom, and we owe them some respect.

    Growing up I have always respected the men and women in the armed forces. Daily, they make incredible sacrifices for our freedoms that we take for granted. They risk their lives for the future of Americans. In middle school I helped with them in an Adopt-A-Soldier program. The soldier that we wrote to frequently, was killed in a plane crash. It became reality for me then, the harshness of the war. But many students today do not thank those in uniform enough. They classify those who join as people who didn't do the greatest in high school and are just looking for something to do with their life. This assumption, however true it may be, is not the way we need to respect people fighting to keep our country alive.

    Sal Giunta was a graduate of my high school. My school newspaper put an article in it about Giunta, but I glanced over it as just another solider. I didn't truly know the extent of what he did until the day he was given the Medal of Honor. In one of my classes we watched a program about him and I was intrigued. To my disappointment, my other teacher didn't believe the importance of what was happening and we didn't even get to watch him receive the honor. How sad.

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