For Immediate Release - December 21, 2011

GOVERNOR PATRICK AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY MEET WITH MASSACHUSETTS SILVER STAR RECIPIENT

BOSTON- Wednesday, December 21, 2011 – Governor Deval Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee met today with Sergeant John Giasullo, Jr., a 24-year-old native of Billerica and recipient of the Silver Star for valor during combat in Afghanistan.

Silver Star Awardee Sergeant John Giasullo, Jr.
(Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray meet with Sergeant Giasullo,
his mother Karen, stepfather Jason and sister Brooke. Photo credit: Eric Haynes/Governor’s office)

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is meeting with service members like Sergeant Giasullo, whose extraordinary bravery while serving on the front lines for our country inspires me,” said Governor Patrick. “On behalf of the Commonwealth, I extend my thanks to Sergeant Giasullo, and to all of our armed forces serving here and abroad this holiday season.”

“Sergeant Giasullo exemplified extraordinary courage and selflessness in the face of danger while protecting our country and his fellow military servicemen and women,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services. “It is an honor to join Governor Patrick and Secretary Nee to meet one of the Commonwealth and country’s heroes.”

Giasullo, 24-year-old native of Billerica, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in connection with military operations in July 2008. Giasullo was a specialist serving as a medic during a routine combat patrol near Shebak Kheyl, Afghanistan, when an Afghan National Army convoy vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Giasullo immediately moved to the destroyed vehicle, where he treated casualties and returned enemy fire. After a secondary improvised explosive device struck the position, Giasullo continued to provide emergency medical aid and prepared the wounded Afghan National Army soldiers for evacuation. Refusing medical treatment for his own injuries after another medic arrived at the site, he successfully stabilized the casualties, loaded them onto an emergency medical transport vehicle and rejoined his platoon until the mission was complete. His selflessness, dedication to duty and courage under enemy fire saved the lives of four Afghan National Army soldiers. He was promoted from specialist to his current rank of sergeant in April 2010 and was presented the Silver Star by Colonel Dominic Caraccilo, deputy commander of the 101st Airborne Division, in July 2010.

"Sergeant Giasullo epitomizes the best in public service,” said Senator Kenneth Donnelly. “Sacrificing your life to help others is the highest calling of service that one can perform. John answered this calling bravely and efficiently. He is truly a credit to Billerica and all of Massachusetts.”

The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the U.S. armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy. The Silver Star may be awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the armed forces, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism involving action against an enemy of the U.S., engagement in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the U.S. is not a belligerent party.

"We are so proud to honor Sergeant Giasullo today and to have a Billerica resident with such bravery and courage," said Representative Marc Lombardo. “It is an honor to represent Sergeant Giasullo and his family. He makes Billerica proud.”

“Sergeant John Giasullo exemplifies the commitment and courage upon which our military and nation was built,” said Representative James E. Vallee. “We as a Commonwealth should be proud of his accomplishments and grateful for his service.”

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