Living with Honor: A Memoir

Living with Honor: A Memoir

by Salvatore Giunta, Joe Layden
4.2 14

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Overview

Living with Honor: A Memoir by Salvatore Giunta, Joe Layden

There was the sound of a single bullet, and then . . . a deafening barrage of gunfire and explosions. There were, literally, thousands of bullets in the air at once, and more tracers streaking across the sky than there were stars overhead. It was a miracle that most of us weren’t killed instantly.

Staff Sergeant Salvatore, “Sal,” Giunta was the first living person to receive the Medal of Honor—the highest honor presented by the U.S. military—since the conclusion of the Vietnam War. In Living with Honor, this hero who maintains he is “just a soldier” tells us the story of the fateful day in Afghanistan that led to his receiving the unique honor. With candor, insight, and humility, Giunta not only recounts the harrowing events leading up to when he and his company fell under siege, but also illustrates the empowering, invaluable lessons he learned.

As a seventeen-year-old teen working at Subway, Giunta was like any other kid trying to figure out which step to take next with his life after graduating from high school. When Giunta walked into the local Army recruiting center in his hometown, he just wanted a free T-shirt. But when he walked out, his curiosity had been piqued and he enlisted in the Army.

Deployed to Afghanistan, Giunta soon learned from the more seasoned soldiers how “different” this war was compared to others that America had fought. Stationed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in the Korengal Valley— also known as the “Valley of Death”—Giunta and his company were ambushed by Taliban insurgents. Giunta went into action after seeing that his squad leader had fallen. Exposing himself to blistering enemy fire, Giunta charged toward his squad leader and administered first aid while he covered him with his own body. Though Giunta was struck by the relentless barrage of bullets, he engaged the enemy and then attempted to reach additional wounded soldiers. When he realized that yet another soldier was separated from his unit, he advanced forward. Discovering two rebels carrying away a U.S. soldier, Giunta killed one insurgent and wounded the other, and immediately provided aid to the injured soldier. More than just a remarkable memoir by a remarkable person, Living with Honor is a powerful testament to the human spirit and all that one can achieve when faced with seemingly impossible obstacles.

***

The President clasps the medal around my neck. Applause fills the room. But I know it’s not for me alone. I look at my mom and dad. I look at Brennan’s parents and I look at Mendoza’s. And I try to communicate to Brennan and Mendoza wordlessly: This is for you . . . and for everyone who has fought and died. For everyone who has made the ultimate sacrifice. I am not a hero. I’m just a soldier.

—Salvatore A. Giunta, from Living with Honor

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451691535
Publisher: Threshold Editions
Publication date: 12/04/2012
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 278,838
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Salvatore A. Giunta retired from active duty in 2011. Prior to that, he was responsible for the health, welfare, morale, training, and accountability of the soldiers in his company in the Army, working to ensure all unit family members were well taken care of while their spouses were deployed in Afghanistan. He is one of the few living persons to ever be awarded the Medal of Honor, and he was presented the award by President Obama in a White House ceremony on November 16, 2010. Giunta has also received numerous other commendations, including the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and the Purple Heart. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Jen, and their daughter.
Joe Layden has authored or coauthored more than thirty books, including multiple New York Times bestsellers.

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Living with Honor 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
LTMonk More than 1 year ago
As a Vietnam vet who also served in the 173rd "Herd," I was proud to see his valor recognized, and the brief TV clips rang true as he disavowed personal glory but emphasized the sadness and regret at losing buddies.....a loss that is never compensated by post-mortem honors.  His non-stilted narrative accurately reflects the pride of serving as a paratrooper and the physical and mental hardening that is inevitable and indispensable to surviving in combat.   Also his analysis of the no-win dilemma of fighting with hands tied, allies untrustworthy, determined adversaries and unappreciative "beneficiaries" also is reminiscent of  Vietnam and prophetic of the later abandonment of the Korengal valley and ultimate withdrawal (bug-out) from the entire country.   Let us just hope we are spared video of the last troops desperately boarding helicopters on the Kabul embassy roof.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If Sal is only a "mediocre" soldier, we should all strive for his version of mediocrity. This young man exemplifies what it is to be an American, and better yet, an Iowan. Makes me proud to be from the same state. I cannot imagine having the strength of character to do what he was able to do. And he doesn't think he did anything special! His parents raised a great man.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an unvarnished account of the warrior culture that exists in combat and of the deep bonds formed among fighting men and women. It is rough and foul-mouthed and provides real insight into the combat experience for the rest of us back home. It helps us understand some of the difficulties soldiers face in returning to everyday life. And it highlights how much that understanding is needed by those returning to us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A story greatly detailed and makes you feel like you were there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MLIII More than 1 year ago
Great stories and honorable tribute to fellow comrades. Writing is a bit rough to get through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding reading and book. Sal makes you feel like your one of his buddies who is relating his story of his time spent in Afghanistan. Hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A sound look at life in today's military life and experiences! Told from the heart and mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SPECIFICALLY AND ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE LIFE OF A FRONT LINE AMERICAN SOLDIER IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN. BOTTOM LINE IS THE GRUNT STILL HUMPS THE HILL AND ENCOUNTERS THE ENEMY IN BRUTAL, QUICK, FACE-TO-FACE COMBAT ACTIONS. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A "FANTASTIC TALE" OF THE COMBAT ACTION THAT PRECIPITATED THE AWARD OF THE MEDAL OF HONOR, YOU'LL NOT FIND IT HERE. GIUNTA MAKES A STATEMENT OF FACT ABOUT "ROCK AVALANCHE" BUT MINIMIZES HIS ROLE. HONEST, FIRST HAND ACCOUNT - WELL WORTH YOUR TIME TO READ IF YOU WANT TO GAIN INSIGHT INTO INFANTRY COMBAT ACTIONS.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was well written and riveting. The men and women in our armed forces truly give all to defend this nation and our freedoms. It is a reminder that freedom is, indeed, not free. These men and women gladly put themselves in harm's way to protect our way of life and this republic. I am grateful to each of them and remember them daily in my prayers.
efm More than 1 year ago
Compelling story of the Afgan War and its effects on soldiers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very go