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Command Sergeant Major (retired)
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A friend of mine lives in Dallas, TX and went out to the NFL experience. We spent 6 years together at Ft. Bragg, and he is a great guy. This is the e-mail he sent me. I thought some of you would find it interesting.




So, a buddy and I ventured downtown today to the "NFL Experience" at the
Dallas Convention Center. The news said there were 40,000 people there
today and I wouldn't argue. We didn't have tickets and didn't anticipate the 3 hour wait to get into the NFL Super Bowl trade show. Needless to say, we
got in within 20 minutes and without having to pay the $25 fee. But that's
another story that could be told over beers at a later date (without
wives).

It was an interesting event with current NFL players, the Lombardi Trophy
on display, some Canton busts, plus a lot of merchandise and activities for
kids.

Here was my highlight and I figured you would appreciate the
magnitude of the chance encounter. Jimbo (my buddy) and I were cruising around looking for a beer. We walked through one of the many concessions areas and were cruising among the tables people were eating at. I spotted a few guys and one girl at one of the tables. The guys were chowing down on hotdogs and kraut. One guy in particular looked extremely familiar. He was wearing a North Face fleece with a little Army lapel pin on his jacket. Other
than the lapel pin, he looked like any other tourist eating lunch.

I told my buddy that I was pretty sure that was the latest Medal of Honor recipient, SSG Giunta. So of course I walked up to him and asked. Sure enough, it was SSG Giunta, his wife Jenn (I've been introduced, so can now call her by her truncated name) and a couple of his buddies. I thanked him for his service and told him that I had about 9 years active duty with a few at Ft. Bragg.

I asked what his plans were and he said that he was currently stop
lossed but is getting out of the Army after that. He wants to go to college
in Colorado. I told him of my time at Carson and said that he'll love
Colorado. He said that they had just flown in from Italy for the Super Bowl.
After a little more small talk, I thanked him and his wife again for their
service and we left.

I saw Felix Jones, Ahman Green, Dan Patrick, Patrick Willis and a number
of other NFL players and media types. None made the impression that my
chance, low key meeting with SSG Giunta did.

Jimbo asked if I should go back and get a picture with him. As much as I wanted to I told him that the last thing that guy wanted was the attention, notoriety and fame. After all, I saw his 60 Minutes interview. Heck, his humility would almost choke up any one of us. I'm pretty sure that 39,999 people didn't recognize him and I didn't want a photo op to ruin his lunch. So no picture.

My buddy, who has never served, may not have grasped the magnitude of that meeting. And maybe that's just fine. That's probably how it should be and how SSG Giunta wanted it. But I told him that this instance will almost certainly be the only time in his life that he will ever (or me for that matter) meet a Medal of Honor recipient. Considering there are only around 90 living recipients and he is the only one since Vietnam (living), I would bet on 100% chance that our meeting was unique.

Personally, considering I know a little about where this guy has been and I have also read his story over and over, this meeting weighed pretty heavy on me. Just thinking about this 25 year old, who risked so much in such a short time and was recognized at that level is pretty humbling.

He didn't care who we were and we probably wouldn't care who he was but
for that 30 minutes out of his 25 years of life. Extraordinary to read and
even more so to meet him. Just a regular guy.

Anyway, we had a blast and experienced our little part of Super Bowl XVL.
But that impromptu meeting with SSG Giunta will probably stay with me far
longer than the beer (already gone), NFL player sightings, Cowboys bumper
sticker that is now on my beer fridge and any other memory of today.

That's all. I thought you guys would also appreciate the story. Pretty
amazing.

Great day.

PO
 

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What is so awesome about the whole thing is, this is man is more of a hero than all of the other names that you mentioned put together. Sports legends are great, but in my eyes they are not heroes, they are paid millions of dollars to play a sport they chose. Some can't stay out of jail, yet people idolize them. I just don't see it that way. Military heroes that put their life on the line probably did not think they would ever be a hero by any means. God bless them all!!!
 

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****** Viejo
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Good story.I have to agree with what I've read in this thread.Sports figures are not what I refer to as Heroes.I met a few real Heroes and the experience made a deep impression in each case.Good choice in not asking for a picture IMO.In my eyes a picture is just that but a handshake lasts forever.tom.:cool:
 

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I googled him and read up because I had no idea who this person is or what you meant by MOH...SSG. I'm glad I did.

I'd rather shake his hand than have a photo op. As much as I enjoy sports, I would never use the word "hero" in reference to a sports figure.
 

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Western Pa
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Great Story.

There is a World War Two MOH recepient buried in the cemetary just up the road from my house.

These men were in a situation that was not special. What is special is the actions they took without thinking about personal risk. They acted to help their fellow man, and did so instantly, almost automatically.

If you read the story of most MOH actions, they span the space of a very few minutes. Most of the write-ups take longer to read than the actual action took. These men didn't have time to plan. They took action based on instinct. That is why they are heroes. It is a part of their being, not something learned or taught.
 

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Command Sergeant Major (retired)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had the opportunity to meet MSG Roy Benavidez at Ft. Bragg back in 1989. One thing that has always impressed me about those with the MOH is how humble they all are.

I enjoy sports and watching some of the things that athletes can do, but they are not heroes.

SSG Guinta is getting out of the Army because he knows that he will never again be allowed to lead Soldiers in combat. It looks bad when MOH recipients die.
 

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Good story.I have to agree with what I've read in this thread.Sports figures are not what I refer to as Heroes.I met a few real Heroes and the experience made a deep impression in each case.Good choice in not asking for a picture IMO.In my eyes a picture is just that but a handshake lasts forever.tom.:cool:
^^^ This. SSG Guinta is a hero, someone who catches a football for a living might be a star.

Thanks for posting that, SGM. :patriot:
 

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...SSG Guinta is getting out of the Army because he knows that he will never again be allowed to lead Soldiers in combat. It looks bad when MOH recipients die.
Could you imagine being out there with him as your leader? Talk about knowing your SGT has your back!
 

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NRA4EVR
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What impresses me about so many MOH recipients is that they almost brush off what they did as just another day at work. Their humility and belief in duty and service is inspiring and sets the standard that we all should strive to reach.
 

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What an Honor just to meet him......
 

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That would of made my day also. Good post.
 
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