Iowa native and medal of honor recipient, Sal Giunta, will speak today at an event in Omaha on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how it impacts soldiers. “I think everyone has issues because of the (lives) that we were living for those 15 months during that deployment, to come back to normal life is such a drastic change,” he explains.
“Everyone goes through moments of feeling as an outsider and trying to adjust back to what is normal. But I think with the proper amount of support and people out there to help, you can overcome that and you can easily pick up with a normal life.” Giunta says soldiers now receive much support when they return home and the public welcomes them with open arms.
That wasn’t the case 50 some years ago when Vietnam veterans returned, and he credits those vets for making it easier for today’s soldiers. Giunta says the Vietnam vets said the way they were treated would never happen again and they are ensuring that.
Giunta, a Hiawatha native, was awarded the military’s highest honor for his bravery during combat in Afghanistan. He chose not to re-enlist in the military and is now a student at Colorado State University.
“They have this new thing called the post-9-11 G-I Bill which is essentially going to pay 100 percent of my college tuition, so I think I’m gonna jump on that knowledge bandwagon and ride that as long as I can,” Giunta explained. Giunta will be speaking at the third annual “At Ease Luncheon” at the Century Link Center.