Medal of Honor

I was in Washington, D.C., this week to cover the Medal of Honor ceremony for Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, a native Iowan and the first living recipient of the medal since Vietnam. I briefly caught up with Biden photog David Lieneman, who answered allll my questions about working in the White House. Photojournalists go into situations blind every day, but this was obviously different, so I was glad for answers from David and help from Getty photog Chip Somodevilla (who knew me way back in the day when I was a high school intern in Ft Worth) in acquiring a stepladder. I had already heard Giunta's story several times, but hearing it from the President was pretty powerful.. plus trying to get a variety of images from my perch atop a stepladder squeezed between two TV guys, silently willing people in the audience to put their cameras down so I could see over them, then filing as fast as I could, knowing I wasn't going to beat the wire guys anyway. So. These are just a few images I liked. You can see the Gazette's full coverage here.

President Barack Obama awards Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta the Medal of Honor in the East Room at the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama recognizes members of Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta's unit from Afghanistan before awarding Giunta the Medal of Honor.

First Lady Michelle Obama looks back to the parents of Sergeant Joshua Brennan and Spec. Hugo Mendoza, two members of Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta's squad who were killed in action.