The Associated Press brief said it all.
It was just a cutline, really, referring to a series of striking, moving photos of a genuine American hero.
“Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, first living Medal of Honor recipient for service in Iraq or Afghanistan and the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, salutes during the National Anthem before an NFL football game between New England Patriots and Chicago Bears in Chicago. The award has thrust Giunta into the spotlight. But through it all, the 25-year-old-combat veteran has remained a modest man in a ‘look at me’ world. He insists he’s an average soldier, but the gold five-point star around his neck says otherwise.”
You bet it does.
When you see the images of Giunta in his dress uniform, receiving the history=making decoration, when you consider his youth, and yet his dedication to county, it is enough to give hope that the good in America is still waiting to be grasped.
It’s not fair to compare Giunta’s humble honor for the dishonor that is seen in so many places in today’s military, in the Navy officer making distasteful videos, in the traitor who cooperated with the Wikileaks scandal. It’s not fair to Giunta, and it’s not fair to the many, many other decorated service men and women who did more than their share in the service of this nation.
They deserve better.
They deserve to be set apart from these embarrassments, and to be appreciated for holding themselves to a higher standard.
Perhaps that would mean more if the rest of the nation were to do the same thing.
Perhaps their standard would be of more importance if Americans, at home, at work, at school, at church, were to begin again to hold themselves to a higher standard.
We come from a time when American were seriously urged to believe that sexual scandals involving their president were not important, that character is not important.
True heroes, like Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta continue to show us that character is important, and more Americans need to hold themselves to standards that value character again.
— Chuck Smith