Thursday, September 30, 2010


Salvatore Giunta

Salvatore A. Giunta (born January 21, 1985) is a staff sergeant in the United States Army who will be the first living person since the Vietnam War to receive the United States military's highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor. He is cited for saving members of his squad in October 2007 while fighting in the war in Afghanistan.


Born in Clinton, Iowa, on January 21, 1985, in a family of Italian descent, Giunta grew up in Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha. His parents Steve, a medical equipment technician, and Rose, a preschool teacher, live in Hiawatha. He has two younger siblings, a brother Mario and sister Katie. Giunta attended John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids and enlisted in the Army in November 2003. He and his wife Jennifer, a native of Dubuque, dated several years before they were married.



Giunta attended basic training and infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was first deployed to Afghanistan from March 2005 until March 2006, while his second tour lasted from May 2007 until July 2008. Giunta was promoted to staff sergeant in August 2009 and is currently stationed at Caserma Ederle, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team's base near Vicenza, Italy. He serves in the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne, but works in a support role for members of his unit currently deployed in Afghanistan.



In October 2007, Giunta's eight-man squad was moving along a wooded ridgeline in the Korangal valley when at least a dozen Taliban fighters mounted an ambush that was coordinated from three sides at such close range that close air support could not be provided to Giunta's unit. Sergeant Josh Brennan, who was walking point, suffered at least 6 gunshot wounds. Giunta, then a specialist, was the fourth soldier back and was shot in the chest but was saved by his ballistic vest. Another bullet destroyed a weapon slung over his back. Moving, firing and throwing hand grenades, Giunta advanced up the trail to assist Staff Sergeant Erick Gallardo and, later, Specialist Franklin Eckrode, whose M249 machine gun had jammed and who was badly wounded. Continuing up the trail, Giunta saw two Taliban fighters, one of whom was Mohammad Tali (considered a high-value target), dragging Brennan down the hillside and towards the forest. Giunta attacked the insurgents with his M4 carbine, killing Tali, and ran to Brennan to provide cover and comfort until relief arrived.

    I ran through fire to see what was going on with him and maybe we could hide behind the same rock and shoot together ... He was still conscious. He was breathing. He was asking for morphine. I said, "You'll get out and tell your hero stories," and he was like, "I will, I will."
Brennan did not survive surgery. According to his father, Michael Brennan, "not only did [Giunta] save [my son] Josh ... He really saved half of the platoon."

On September 10, 2010, the White House announced that Giunta would receive the United States' highest military decoration, the first awarded to a living recipient since the Vietnam War. He is the fourth recipient from the War in Afghanistan, after Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, Army Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, and Army Staff Sergeant Robert James Miller.


White House Action Account

    Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007. When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta's squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010



this movie tells the story of two veteran Navy men, for some reason who find themselves in a transit barracks, between duty stations. One of their details or assignments, is to escort a young sailor who has been convicted of stealing money from the base commander's favorite charity to Portsmouth Naval Prison, where he will spend the next eight years at hard labor. The convict is a troubled youth who has never had a beer, or a friend or a woman in his short life. And by the time he gets out of the custody of the US Marines at PNP, if he survives at all, who knows what he will become. The veterans grow a soft spot for the young lad and decide to show him a good time before they drop him at the prison.
It's a great flick and it comes highly recommended by yours truly. There is plenty of  Navy slang, and the "F" BOMBS land with the same frequency that you'd expect from the boatswain's locker.

in 1986, I found myself between duty stations and assigned to the transit barracks in San Diego California. Maybe because of my physical size, or my intimidating attitude, or any combination thereof, I was assigned to the base holding cell. This is where sailors who have gone astray from the law were held temporarily before being assigned to the brig. Before they could be put in the brig, sailor in question needed to pass a physical, because brig duty is considered arduous duty.

One of my first assignments was to escort a young man who had been stopped by the police for speeding. When the police checked his identification, he came back as an AWOL from the Navy. 15 years prior to this day, he had jumped the fence in boot camp, just down the road at the recruit training center. Rather than return home, he started a new life in San Diego. He had a career, home, wife and three children. None of them knew anything about his past. Now he was in my custody and I was escorting him to get his physical. This is a Friday morning and nobody knew what was happening to him. His family had no idea where he was going. Inside the brig, detainees are only allowed to make phone calls on Monday morning. That meant this young man would spend the entire weekend in the brig and his family would have no notice of his situation. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth on biblical level as this young man beg for me to allow him to make a phone call. 

Unlike character played by Randy Quaid, this young man was a scheming conniving creep and I had no assurance that a phone call by him would not result in an escape attempt. And on the off chance that it played out as an escape, I would be charged with aiding and abetting in dereliction of duty. And that wasn't going to happen to me.

I have to admit that I have no idea what ever became of this guy or his family. Not because I don't care. But because that's the nature of the duty. You just don't get involved with people unnecessarily. In the military when members make friends with each other it is different then making friends in the civilian world. In the military there is a possibility that you may have to issue orders to your friends that may result in their death. Your civilian friends have the option of telling you the hose off. Your military friends have no such option. They are bound by honor and duty to follow your commands. I can't speak to what other people think about when they choose friends in the military. But the military friends I have, all received this level of consideration from me. The French call it "Esprit de Corps." The English call it "Comrades in Arms." And it's because of this bond that I don't run around calling everybody BRO. That is a title I reserved for less than a dozen men on this planet.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010





Monday, September 27, 2010


That is the title of Jim Morrison biography. I read this book with much curiosity back in 1981. It is a haunting tale, the documents the genius and rebellious attitude that was Jim Morrison. When I read this book Jim was already dead, so the title was very ominous and I was curious as to where "HERE" was. And exactly who else was in there with him. Was it all the members of the doors? Was it all the members at the summit of rock 'n roll stardom? Neither of those two things made sense, because not all of those people had died. I assumed that he must've been speaking about people who shared similar personality and mind traits with him. And since I had tested at genius level ever since the sixth grade, and have been labeled a rebel all my life, this concerned me greatly. After studying this book as if it were a text, I discovered  that the missing element between myself and Mr. Morrison was our desire for fame. He had a great desire for it, and I on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with it.

William Shakespeare said:
"There is nothing more common than the desire to be remarkable." And in light of that, you can consider me as common as the next guy. But there's a big difference between wanting to be remarkable wanting to be famous. And Mr. Morrison is probably more famous now, than when he was alive. While the remaining members of the Doors are still alive and well and extremely productive, you would have to be a very diehard fan to recall the names of Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore.

Another rock legend who didn't make it out alive was James Marshall Hendrix, a.k.a. Jimi. He was a quiet shy unassuming individual who, it has been said about, learned to play guitar to meet girls. Jimi Hendrix fame in Europe and England far exceed anything he experienced here in America. One of the little-known or cared about facts of his band, the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" is that nobody made it out alive. All three, Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell have all gone to the other side.

It was quite a few years later when I came to the realization that space "no one here gets out alive" applies not only to rock stars and fame seekers. It applies to all of us. Every single one of us. Perhaps that is the reason we want to be remarkable. To be remarkable is to be remembered. Let me leave you with one of my favorite Jimi Hendrix songs, one that never made the pop charts, for reasons I don't understand.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

I've been busy

Doing what? you ask.
Expanding my understanding of the universe in which we live.For example; This little cartoon will give you a hint at where I've been.

But it goes much further down the rabbit hole than this. For the time being just let me tell you that having a comprehensive understanding of Science, and the Universe does not put me at odds with my faith in God.

Are there many scientists who believe in God? Bryn Mawr College psychologist James Leuba asked this question in 1914 and again in 1933. He had stated that once science was taught properly in the US University system, belief in God would become non-existent. 

Specifically, he asked a sample of American scientists if they believed in a personal God who answers prayers and in the immortality of the human soul. According to Leuba, he “chose to define God as given above because that is the God worshipped in every branch of the Christian religion.” Scientists were selected from the standard reference guide American Men of Science (later changed to American Men and Women of Science) and were limited to one of three answers: yes, no or I don’t know. The results of Leuba’s studies found that 40% of American scientists believe in a personal God.

In 1996 and again in 1998, Pulitzer Prize winner Professor Edward Larson of the University of Georgia and Washington Times reporter Larry Witham teamed up to duplicate Leuba’s study in an effort to determine if scientists’ religious beliefs have changed much over the last 65 years. Larson and Witham found that 40% of American scientists still believe in a personal God. This number does not include those who believe in an impersonal God or Supreme Being. Or a God who watches the events happen with no regard toward prayers offered by the created. Don't get me wrong. There are a great many people who believe themselves to be mentally superior to those who profess a faith in a Creator God. Here are some that didn't agree with those people:
to download the E-Book in English, Russian click Here::::::

Thank you for all of your support and encouragement.