NFM SALUTE OF THE MONTH
Staff Sergeant Giovanni Pierorazio
SSG Pierorazio was born in a small mountain village in central Italy. He and his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was ten years old. He graduated high school in June of 1967. SSG Pierorazio immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army and began his military service the following September, with basic training in Fort Benning, GA. He spent November and December in Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at Fort Gordon, GA. In early February of 1968, he was assigned as a replacement to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division.
SSG Pierorazio shared a story from his time with this Company.
“On the 24th of March, my Company was sent out on an air assault against elements of the North Vietnamese Army, which just been forced out of the city of Hue by US Marines. These forces were trying to escape, and our units were intent on stopping them. Within a few hours, we came under fire from NVA forces and an increasingly intense battle ensued. During that battle I was wounded when rifle fire struck me in the left forearm.”
As a result of his wound, SSG Pierorazio was evacuated back to the US. He convalesced at Walter Reed Military Hospital until October. At that time, he was assigned to the 197th Light Infantry Brigade garrisoned at Fort Benning. In May of 1969, SSG Pierorazio was ordered to the Republic of South Korea, where he stayed for the remainder of his Army tour of duty; serving in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas. SSG Pierorazio returned to the US at the end of June of 1970 and was discharged from active duty in Fort Lewis, WA on July 2nd, 1970, having attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, E-6.
SSG Pierorazio was the recipient of several service awards, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
He was nominated by his nephew, John Liberatore.
“I, along with the rest of my family, would like to let Giovanni know how proud we are of him for the sacrifice he gave in serving his country.”
SSG Pierorazio chose the Gary Sinise Foundation to receive this month’s donation.