SSG Guinta honored in Washington DC - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SSG Guinta honored in Washington DC

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -- Members of Congress are extending one more honor on a courageous Iowa soldier. In November, President Barack Obama awarded Staff Sergeant Salvatore Guinta the Medal of Honor. The medal recognizes SSG Guinta's actions during a 2007 battle in Afghanistan.

Wednesday's Joint Resolution is one of the few times every member of the Senate and the House will unanimously agree on something. While it may seem like just another honor for the soldier, Guinta said it's a once in a lifetime moment.

"I think in the last three months, I have one hundred, two hundred things that rank incredibly high in my life," he noted.

He is becoming used to the spotlight, but SSG Guinta is not taking a single honor for granted.

"You become the face of the army at that time, and to represent people who you know are faster than you, you know are bigger than you, you know are smarter and are stronger than you, it's definitely a weight on your shoulders," said Guinta.

Senators Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley are proud to sit next to the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient. Harkin said, Guinta lives up to the standard set by those who have come before.

"When I say he fits the mold, I met a lot of medal of honor winners in my life, and they are humble, very self-effacing, and as they say -- they did their duty," said Harkin.

Grassley added, "he knows what a soldier is supposed to do, he's just doing his duty, and we thank him very much for his service."

And thank him, they did -- in a ceremony led by another Medal of Honor recipient, Senator Daniel Inouye. It's one more reminder for Guinta, and everyone who wears the military uniform, that their country stands behind them.

"We wanted Sergeant Guinta to know it wasn't just his Commander in Chief that's proud of him, but all of us are proud of him," Harkin said.

Inouye received the Medal of Honor for actions taken during World War II. The Senator is one of many Medal of Honor recipients Guinta has met in the past few months. Guinta said it's remarkable to hear their stories, and notes that they are all very different, yet share many of the same threads.

There are 85 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. Guinta is one of two who are still in active duty. The other - COL Gordon Ray Roberts is sixty years old, and currently works as a surgeon at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He received his Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War.

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