I watched with great intent the “60 Minutes” show last night, devoted mostly to Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, recipient of the Medal of Honor; the highest personal decoration bestowed upon a military serviceperson. You do not “win” this award, it is granted. Only reality show idiots (“Survivor” comes to mind…as does “Wipeout”) “win” something, and most of them (some actually did serve) have absolutely no clue what it takes to persevere to a level that would allow them to be even remotely considered for something remotely akin to bravery. But I digress…
The language on most MOH citations reads, “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life and above and beyond (way beyond [my words]) the call of duty….” I was thinking about these words as I watched this incredible young man convey—in wonderfully articulate and lucid fashion—his “mediocrity” in carrying out duties so horrific, that even he seemed surprised that he escaped the certain death that two of his fellow soldiers did not. But his mission was simple: to prevent the enemy from taking, and definitely abusing, the bodies of his fallen comrades and he performed this mission with great skill, courage and initiative. And lest we forget, other soldiers in this unit contributed greatly to the mission’s outcome.
Staff Sgt. Giunta represents the absolute best in our military—regardless of branch. In watching and listening to his exchanges with Lara Logan last night, I sense great future accomplishments from him. The way he expresses himself, I believe he senses it, too. For one, I sure hope so. I would take his kind of “mediocrity” any day.
To the 84 living Medal of Honor recipients, I salute you as shining examples of what all of us who have served could ever aspire to accomplish during our tours of service. For all of those we have lost in combat all over the globe—and the families they left behind—thank you, on behalf of a grateful nation. And finally, to my dad Steve and my brother Billy, thanks for serving with honor and distinction. You guys could be my “wingmen” anytime!