2011’s Great American Patriot: Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta

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The Executive Committee of the Armed Forces Bowl is honored to present the 2011 Great American Patriot Award to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, United States Army (former). This award will be presented by Armed Forces Insurance (afi.org), sponsor of the award and the Official Insurance Partner of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (http://www.armedforcesbowl.com/).

We’re proud to play a part in recognizing the contributions of Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, who, like our many AFI members, has dedicated himself to serving our country.

The Executive Committee of the Armed Forces Bowl is honored to present the 2011 Great American Patriot Award to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, United States Army (former). This award will be presented by Armed Forces Insurance (afi.org), sponsor of the award and the Official Insurance Partner of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (http://www.armedforcesbowl.com/).

In selecting the Great American Patriot Award recipient, the candidate must be of high moral fiber and good character, having spent his or her career service the common good of the United States. He or she will have gone beyond the call of duty to service and protect this country, with proven dedication and loyalty in upholding the Constitution and the laws of the nation.

“We’re proud to play a part in recognizing the contributions of Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, who, like our many AFI members, has dedicated himself to serving our country,” Col. Tom Dials (U.S. Army, Retired) said. “This award, which is given to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States, honors Staff Sgt. Giunta for his commitment to his fellow soldiers and our nation’s safety.”

SSG Giunta will formally accept the award from chairman of Armed Forces Insurance, COL Tom Dials (U.S. Army, Ret.) during halftime of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl game on December 30.

SSG Giunta enlisted in the U.S. Army in November of 2003. After attending Infantry One Station Unit Training and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga., Giunta was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy, on May 24, 2004. He has taken part in seven training deployments to Germany and two training deployments to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany. He also participated in two combat deployments to Afghanistan, the first of which was during Operation Enduring Freedom VI from March 2005 to March 2006. A little over a year later he left for his second combat deployment to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom VIII, from May 2007 to July 2008.

On October 25, 2007, during this second deployment, Staff Sgt. Giunta's platoon was ambushed in eastern Afghanistan. Giunta was a specialist serving as a rifle team leader at the time. For his extraordinary gallantry, unrivalled courage, and selfless leadership in action that day, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Giunta in a White House ceremony on November 16, 2010.

Giunta, known as a humble and modest individual, grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he graduated from John F. Kennedy High School before joining the Army in 2003. His list of accolades includes the Medal of Honor, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (with one bronze oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, among many others. He currently lives in Fort Collins, Colo. with his wife, Jen, and daughter, Lily.

About Armed Forces Insurance
AFI was founded in 1887 by military leaders with a single mission: to protect the property of those who protect our nation. The company provides premium quality, competitively priced property and casualty insurance to military professionals throughout the United States and overseas. AFI understands that its subscribers have unique circumstances and insurance needs, enabling the company to offer a level of personalized service that's unequaled in the industry. For more information, visit the website at http://www.afi.org or call 1-800-495-8234.

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Lori Simmons
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