‘Colbert Report’ interview with Staff Sergeant Giunta: A veteran’s taping report

I suspect a lot of you are feeling the way I am about last night’s interview with Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta: impressed, humbled, grateful. The interview was intensely moving and Stephen was quite fittingly sincere throughout the interview; he was Stephen Colbert, not “Stephen Colbert”. The standing ovation was especially nice to see, and it was so very well deserved.

Knowing how I (as a civilian) felt about the interview and SSgt Giunta, I was pleased to see this account from Matthew Colvin, who attended last night’s show at the invitation of IAVA. Read on for his great report of the experience.

Medal of Honor recipient SSG Giunta on the Colbert Report
November 18, 2010 matthewcolvin

. . .

While sipping on my mocha and writing about one of my best weeks ever, I received an email inviting me to the taping of the Colbert Report tonight. The final line said, “Special guest I think you’d like, can give more details if you’re interested. What would you say?” Of course I looked at my open schedule and said yes. I immediately looked up who was the guest and I couldn’t contain my excitement. The girls next to me must have thought me insane. Picture me, a 29 and 11/12s year old man squealing like a little piggy and having to cover my mouth to contain my smile. That’s pretty much the scene as I squirmed in disbelief and put my head down. I was speechless (not squeal-less though unfortunately) at the opportunity laid before me and have been on cloud nine ever since.

I rolled into IAVA HQ by 5, grabbed Todd, Katie, and Michael, then hustled to make the 530 showtime for VIPs. … There we were able to meet SSG Sal Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor recipient since Vietnam. There have been few times in my life when I have been awestruck and this was one of them. Maybe I stared a little too intently, but this was a real American hero. Not Hulk Hogan, but Sal Giunta.

. . .

Read the full account here

I have so much respect for everyone involved in last night’s show. Well, maybe not “Gobbles”, but the veterans, Stephen and, of course, Giunta himself — all of them were clearly operating from the heart, and it was impossible not to be affected by it. A sincere bravo and thank you to all of these wonderful people, and let’s all keep them in mind as we head into this Thanksgiving week.


  1. Christiane says:

    It was a definate tear jerker. When he was halfway through his story and he paused like he couldn’t speak anymore and Stephen stepped in to help him tell it. ugh my heart broke!

    • HeatherCalifornia says:

      That’s the moment that got me too.

    • friedthing says:

      Aw, that was very classy of Stephen. He jumped in so quickly I didn’t even notice Giunta was struggling until the second time I watched it.

      • Christiane says:

        Stephen must be such a lifesaver for his loved ones. He’s just so obviously intune with the emotions of those around him. :)

    • MaryLovesColbert says:

      I thought that showed what a classy host Stephen is and how well he can handle this kind of situation. I watched Guinta tell the story on “60 Minutes” and he did get choked up. So it was nice to see Stephen step in and not force him to tell the story. :)

      • christiane says:

        Oh it totally showed Stephen’s class, he was like a sweet uncle or doting dad. It just choked me up though.

  2. I saw Giunta getting choked up a bit, didn’t even catch Stephen stepping in like that to give him a minute to compose himself. Very cool save. I fully agree, I love how respectful the interview was (really, though, how could it NOT be?), and the standing ovation at the end? Nice touch.

    That’s so cool that this veteran got to go to the taping and meet Giunta (hee at the thought of him getting all school-girl giggly at the thought of going to the taping :D. That’s awesome). I’m glad he enjoyed himself, and as for Giunta himself-damn. That story is truly stunning. I’m in awe of his bravery, his humble nature, and I congratulate him on winning the award. They’ve been having stories about him on our local TV stations and in our newspapers-Iowans everywhere are proud, rest assured. Hell, the country as a whole should be proud. I thank him immensely for his service, and I’m glad he made it home okay.

  3. Er…change “winning” to “receiving”. Meant to say that instead. ‘Cause “winning” just does not sound right in this context.

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