Something historic is happening today in Washington DC, something that should be celebrated and something that everyone needs to know about. For only the second time in my lifetime, a living soldier is being awarded the Medal of Honor.
In October of 2007, in the Korengal province of Afghanistan, SSG Sal Giunta risked his life against overwhelming odds to rescue a wounded soldier that was in danger of being captured by Taliban soldier. Although doctors were unable to save the wounded soldier, SSG Giunta's bravery saved the soldier from a fate worse than death--being tortured and used as a propaganda victory by the Taliban.
The last Medal of Honor was awarded to a living recipient in 1976, for actions during the Vietnam War in 1972. Since then, every MOH has been awarded posthumously.
Some quick facts about the Medal of Honor-
- First established during the Civil War in 1861, there have been 3448 awarded
-Only 1 woman has ever been awarded the Medal of Honor, for actions during the Battle of Bull Run
-There have been 19 double recipients of the Medal of Honor
-The first African American Medal of Honor recipient was a Union Soldier in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, loosely recreated in the movie Glory
-Military tradition dictates that living Medal of Honor recipients are saluted, regardless of their rank.
-46 Minnesotans have been awarded the Medal of Honor, including 2 from the 1st Minnesota at the Battle of Gettysburg