The White House Friday announced that Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, 25, of Hiawatha, Iowa, will be awarded the nation's highest medal for valor for his actions in Afghanistan, and he will come to the White House to receive the medal himself.
This is the lead from the CNN report on Salvatore Giunta. I wish I could say I knew this young man but, even though he went to school at Kennedy HS - one block from my home in Cedar Rapids, it was after my girls graduated. All of Eastern Iowa - heck, all of Iowa - should be proud.
We can argue all night about whether or not we should even be at war in that part of the world but I am thankful that most Americans recognize the sacrifice our sons and daughters are making for this country. I came of age during our little escapades in Viet Nam and the attitudes were different then. The war was unpopular and unfortunately so were the poor men that had to fight it. I think that is one lesson that my generation learned. Now when our troops return home, they are treated with the respect they deserve instead of being shunned and ridiculed. I never had to serve but my brother was in the Navy during Viet Nam. I was in school and then working on campus at ISU during those days. I worked with some of the returning vets back then - it was not one of our shining moments.
So let's be proud of this young man, and all of the other men and women who have gone off to fight this war. I wish they didn't have to do this and I pray we will end this soon - but these people have earned our respect and our thanks.