CHATTANOOGA, Tn. — There have been some special things that happened in the Chattanooga area in 2022. Now as year's end is drawing closer we look back at one of those moments.
On the Price of Freedom we look back at one of those events.
In late September, Medal Of Honor recipient Sal Giunta visited Chattanooga to speak at the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center's Celebration of Valor.
"In combat, there's no timeouts. There's no take backs. There's no re-dos. There's no oopsies. There's just forward," Sal Giunta told the crowd at September's Celebration of Valor luncheon.
Giunta has an incredible story.
He received the highest award you can get for military valor, but he is also incredibly humble especially for a real life hero.
"I go by Sal. I'm Salvatore Augustine Giunta from Iowa. So, I'm like the only Sal they've ever met, and I like Sal," Giunta said. "I went to New York and New Jersey and there's a lot of other Sals there, but I'm the Iowa Sal."
The Iowa Sal received the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan in 2007.
If you've ever seen the documentary Restrepo or read Giunta's book you know the circumstances around this story.
"I wrote a book, but there's a better book about it called War written By Sebastian Junger. The gentleman who wrote the Perfect Storm. We were living life in Afghanistan as infantrymen. I mean, it was combat everyday," Giunta said.
We have interviewed several Medal of Honor recipients over the years and we've heard amazing stories.
Giunta tells his story like this; they were ambushed and he takes all of 11 seconds to tell what happened next.
"I charged the ambush line and found they were taking an American Soldier. I eliminated the enemy threat, and grabbed my buddy and brought him back."
He called his actions, "just another war story."
He says what resonates with him to this day are the people he fought with and the sacrifices they made.
"In reality, it's you did your job on a bad day, and for sure there were losses. For me that day there was 18 of us on that patrol. Two gentlemen lost their lives, Josh Brennan and Hugo Mendoza. Three other gentlemen were severely wounded in action and ultimately none of us came out unscathed whether it affected us in combat or later in life."
Video in this story courtesy of The Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.