Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was awarded the Medal of Honor for risking his life to save two members of his squad from being captured in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. For his bravery during the incident in October 2007, Giunta was also inducted into what military officials refer to as the Pentagon’s most sacred place: its Hall of Heroes. Obama presented the Medal of Honor in November of last year at the White House.
“This was a situation we were put into. I was just one brush stroke in that picture, and everyone else was one brush stroke in that picture,” Giunta said. “And what I wasn’t was the first brush stroke of that picture, and it wasn’t the last brush stroke in that picture, and it wasn’t the best. It was just another brush stroke that helped, you know, complete this picture. In this job, I am only mediocre. I’m average. “
Giunta, who has often been lauded for his modesty in interviews, was the first living Medal of Honor recipient for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.