Giunta honored by his hometown - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Giunta honored by his hometown

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HIAWATHA (KWWL)-- You've watched as the nation has honored Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta for receiving the highest military award from the president last week in our nation's capital.  Tuesday, Iowa was in the spotlight as we marked "Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta Day" all across the state.  In his hometown of Hiawatha, a special celebration was held in the soldier's honor.

"Sergeant, I'm going to tell you this has never been given to anybody in the city of Hiawatha before.  This is the key to the city, presented by the mayor and city council to Sal Giunta in honor of your selfless service and dedication, which reflects greatly on the people of this city," said Hiawatha Mayor Tom Theis.

After getting the key to his hometown, Staff Sgt. Giunta walked along an aisle of flags and boarded a fire truck to ride in his welcome back parade.

"It's truly great to know this is part of what has formed so much of me," Giunta said.

Dozens of supporters lined the streets of Hiawatha to get a glimpse at their hometown hero.  But even with the spotlight shining brightly on Giunta, the soldier himself remained humble, not wanting to take all the glory.

"By no means is this my medal of honor.  This is far bigger than me.  This is for all the men and women over there serving time and time again.  This is for all of them who couldn't come back and be greeted by their family and hugged by loved ones, who truly gave everything for their country.  This is for all of them," said Giunta.

And his hometown is certainly proud of that attitude and the actions that led Staff Sgt. Giunta to receive the nation's highest military honor.  So the community was glad to pay tribute on the day named for this history-making man.

Staff Sgt. Giunta says he will continue his military service at home, or in combat if he's asked to do so. 

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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