There have been many news accounts lately about Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the Iowa native who recently received the Medal of Honor for his bravery in combat in Afghanistan.
The soldier was nominated for the award after he was credited with saving members of his squad on Oct. 25, 2007. He is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
President Obama presented Giunta with the award on Nov. 6, 2010, in a ceremony at the White House. He was also honored here in his home state by Gov. Culver.
Giunta has appeared on many talk shows, has done interviews and has shared his story across the nation. What is most striking about the young soldier is his humility. He doesn't regard his actions on that night in 2007, but rather said it was what he was trained for, what he was expected to do. President Obama said "He's as humble as he is heroic."
Perhaps that's the greatest quality of a hero - humility. There are heroes in every corner of the world, in big cities and rural areas - fighting on battlefields, feeding the hungry, helping those who's lives have been ravaged by fires, tornados or floods, offering support and care to those who feel alone or isolated.
Webster City and Hamilton County residents are lucky because we have heroes who live right here. They come from every walk of life and share their time and talents in many different ways.
The Brushy Creek Chapter of the American Red Cross would like to know those ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Nominations for the Heroes of the Heartland awards are being accepted through Dec. 6. Nominations may be made in a number of categories, including youth and adult samaritans, community impact, health care workers, fire and rescue, law enforcement, military, 911 dispatch, and international impact.
To submit a nomination, visit www.brushycreekredcross.org to download forms. Completed forms can then be mailed to: Heroes nomination, American Red Cross, 900 Central Avenue, Suite 25, Fort Dodge, IA 50501. Or fax it to 576-2943, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Daily Freeman-Journal supports the Heroes of the Heartland program and urges area residents to take the time to recognize the heroes in our midst.