Published: Nov 17, 2010 3:07 AM EST
Updated: Nov 17, 2010 12:07 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - He has the nation's highest medal because of his heroism during a battle in Afghanistan. But Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta says he'd gladly give it back, if it meant he could have back the fellow soldiers who died that day.
      
Giunta was at the White House today to get the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. Giunta is the first living veteran of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars to receive the honor.

The sergeant from Iowa was honored for retrieving a wounded comrade under gunfire as the Taliban carried the soldier away. That soldier later died.
      
Obama said Giunta had "charged headlong into the wall of bullets" -- first pulling a soldier with a leg wound back to safety, and then sprinting ahead to find two Taliban fighters carrying his seriously wounded friend away. He says Giunta "never broke stride" -- taking aim and killing one of the insurgents. The other, who was wounded, ran off.