When troops receive the Medal of Honor for acts of valor, they usually credit their fellow service members.

Former Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta took that sentiment one step further last week when he offered his Medal of Honor to the brigade he served with, according to CNN.

Giunta received the Medal of Honor in 2010 for his actions in October 2007 when he was a team leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

Then a specialist, Giunta was conducting a patrol with his team in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan when they were ambushed by the enemy, according to his citation for the medal.


Giunta exposed himself to enemy fire to help his injured squad leader find cover. His body armor and secondary weapon were struck with enemy fire as he performed first aid on the squad leader.

Using grenades to provide cover, Giunta and his team made it to other wounded soldiers who had been separated from the squad.

Giunta then realized one soldier was still missing.

He discovered two insurgents carrying the wounded soldier away. He engaged the enemy, killing one insurgent and wounding the other. Then he gave medical aid to the wounded U.S. soldier he had rescued.

"Specialist Giunta's unwavering courage, selflessness, and decisive leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American soldier from the enemy," according to the citation.

Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War, returned to the Vicenza, Italy-based brigade last week for a ceremony honoring the brigade's storied history.

During the ceremony, Giunta said he wanted the brigade to have the medal.

"I want this to stay here in Vicenza, Italy, with the 173rd to the men and women that earn this every single day through their selflessness and sacrifice," he told the audience, according to CNN.

"I am not here because I am a great soldier. I am here because I served with great soldiers," he said. 

Charlsy Panzino covers the Guard and Reserve, training, technology, operations and features for Army Times and Air Force Times. Email her at cpanzino@militarytimes.com.