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Medal of Honor recipient gets new title: Dad

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer
updated 8:32 PM EDT, Mon October 17, 2011
President Barack Obama awards Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta the Medal of Honor in the White House on November 16, 2010.
President Barack Obama awards Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta the Medal of Honor in the White House on November 16, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta earned the Medal of Honor in November 2010
  • His wife Rosemary had a baby girl last week, Giunta's mother says
  • The baby has special privileges as the daughter of a Medal of Honor recipient

Washington (CNN) -- Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War, is a new dad.

The Army soldier's mother told CNN Monday that Giunta, who has left the active-duty Army and begun studies in college, is the father of a baby girl.

Giunta married his wife Jennifer in 2009.

Giunta's mother, Rosemary, said the baby and mother are doing fine.

The girl was born last week, but the new grandmother said Giunta is keeping details like the baby's name and exact birth date private.

As the daughter of a Medal of Honor recipient, baby Giunta will get a few benefits herself.

She and the rest of her family will get special identification cards and commissary and exchange privileges. The latter affords them access to lower-cost shopping, as well as recreation facilities like pools and bowling allies.

And if she qualifies, baby Giunta will be eligible for admission to a United States military academy, without having first to be nominated or adhere to quota retirements.

Giunta was awarded the Medal of Honor in November for his deeds in a battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan in October 2007.

He continued fighting, and rescued a team leader, despite being hit twice by bullets -- one striking his armored vest and another that hit a weapon on his back. Neither caused serious injuries, and Giunta went back to work with his unit moments after the attack ended.

After having served two tours in Afghanistan over seven years, Giunta announced plans in February to leave the U.S. Army and move to Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife, Lt. Col. Greg Hapgood of the Iowa National Guard said then.

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