Medal of Honor Recipient shares selfless passion at JFK High School

It had been over 40 years since a living Medal of Honor recipient was awarded our nation's highest military honor. SSG Sal Giunta was the first living recipient of the 911 Generation to earn the Medal of Honor for his actions on October 25, 2007.

We are proud to announce the first annual Sal Giunta Scholarship of Honor will be awarded in May. It will be our first scholarship established in Iowa.

The Sal Giunta Scholarship of Honor will be awarded annually at his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The scholarship will honor the soldiers he tried to save, Sgt. Josh Brennan and Spc. Hugo Mendoza. It will continue Sal's legacy and allow Sgt. Brennan and Spc. Mendoza's spirit to live on.

"I think helping people is a noble and honorable thing and I want to be as much a part of it as I can," said Giunta on the Scholarship of Honor being established at JFK High.

Staff Sgt. Giunta is a genuine American hero who was humbled about accepting the Medal of Honor from President Obama in 2010. He is committed to saluting the two fallen warriors who died that day.

Sgt Joshua Brennen graduated high school in 2003 in Ontario. He spent his summers living with his father in McFarland, WI.
This was his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Sgt. Brennan was awarded the Bronze Star for valor during his first tour of duty. He also received a Purple Heart after being shot in the leg in August 2007. 
SSG Giunta was tight with Sgt. Brennan; they trained together and traveled around Italy, where they were based... "He was athletic, smart, funny, always someone you could count on."

Spc. Hugo Mendoza was an avid churchgoer who dreamed of becoming a firefighter, He graduated from Trevor Browne High School in 1997 and enlisted as an Army Medic in 2005. 

With a big smile and instinctive tendency toward helping those in need, he deployed to Europe and then to the Middle East with his unit, he would make sure to call his mom in Detroit whenever he could.

SSG Giunta comments, "He truly cared about other people more than he did about himself." And, as a bonus: "He knew the best jokes."