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Iowa Medal of Honor recipient to leave Army in June

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - The first living Medal of Honor recipient in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will leave the U.S. Army in mid-June to pursue his education in Colorado, a U.S. Army spokesman said on Tuesday.

Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, 26, awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions leading an Airborne rifle team in Afghanistan in October 2007, plans to move with his wife to Fort Collins, Colorado, spokesman Troy Rolan said.

An Iowa native, Giunta exposed himself to enemy fire to pull one soldier to cover during an ambush and later attacked two Taliban insurgents he saw carrying off a wounded American paratrooper, killing one and wounding another to recover the soldier and provide medical aid, his citation read.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be given to an individual in the U.S. Army. Although there have been a handful of other Medal of Honor winners from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, their awards were posthumous.

(Reporting by David Bailey. Editing by Peter Bohan)

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