NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta says he still finds it hard to talk about what he did in Afghanistan to earn the Medal of Honor.
Giunta, the first living American to be awarded the nation's highest military award for valor since the Vietnam War -- seven have received the medal posthumously -- told ABC News what he did during a firefight in Afghanistan Oct. 25, 2007, wasn't anything more than what every soldier serving in Afghanistan has done.
"Every single one of them have gone above and beyond anything that should ever be asked of them and they're continuing to do it," said Giunta, 25, of Hiawatha, Iowa. "They're doing it today. They'll do it tomorrow."
He told ABC he still thinks about the battle he lived through "multiple times a day" but said telling details of his story of bravery "hurts to kind of go into it."
What is known from those who were there is that Giunta, then a specialist with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team, recovered two wounded soldiers who became separated from the eight-member squad when they came under attack during a night patrol in eastern Afghanistan's Korengal Valley -- known as the "Valley of Death." He then threw grenades and laid down small-arm fire to prevent two Taliban fighters from dragging away a third wounded soldier.
He administered aid to the third soldier until medical help arrived.
All this happened after Giunta survived being shot in the chest thanks to his body armor.
He did it, he said, because of the bond between soldiers.
"That's your brother in arms," he told ABC. "That's who you're there with, that's who is fighting for you and with you."
President Barack Obama called Giunta, now stationed in Italy, Thursday to tell him he would awarded the Medal of Honor. A formal presentation will be held on a date yet to be determined.