Living with Honor: A Memoir

Salvatore A Giunta, Author, Joe Layden, With
Salvatore A. Giunta with Joe Layden . S&S/Threshold, $26 (304) ISBN 978-1-4516-9146-7
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 12/01/2012
Compact Disc - 978-1-4423-5585-9
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4516-9153-5
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4516-9150-4
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4423-5586-6
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It wasn't 9/11 or love of country, but a free Army t-shirt that sealed the deal for a gung-ho 18-year-old Iowan who embarked on a life-altering deployment to Korengal, the "Valley of Death" and Afghanistan's most perilous region. In October 2007, ambushed by a unit of professional fighters more disciplined and vicious than the solider-farmers they usually fought, Giunta saves two wounded comrades, one of whom was almost abducted by the enemy. Through these actions he became the first living solider since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor. Giunta displays a grim candor about war: "It's blood, it's gross and it's gruesome; it's always sick and mean." His frank take on the fighting is more than a montage of battlefield gore; an adept observer of human nature, Giunta's portraits of his comrades-in-arms are full of wit and warmth about their foibles and admiration for their combat skills. He downplays his political views though finds it difficult to absorb the cluelessness American civilians display about war and soldiers' sacrifices. With clarity and maturity, Giunta shows he understands the complexities of contemporary Afghan society and displays a healthy amount of skepticism about the US mission there. (Dec.)
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