An Army sergeant from Massachusetts has been awarded the Medal of Honor three years after he died trying to rescue wounded comrades during a battle with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama called the family of Sgt. Jared Monti of Raynham this week to inform them of the honor. A ceremony will be held at the White House on Sept. 17. It is the first Medal of Honor awarded under the Obama administration.
Monti’s father, Paul Monti, says the news that his son is receiving the nation’s highest military honor is bittersweet because he would rather have his son back.
“He told me ... the nation was proud of my son, and he was proud of my son and was sure I was proud of my son,” Paul Monti was quoted as saying in The Boston Globe. “It ensures him a place in history, but I’d much rather have him with me.”
Monti’s unit was involved in a firefight with insurgents on June 21, 2006.
Showing “immeasurable courage and uncommon valor” according to the White House, Monti pulled one wounded comrade to safety but was killed trying to rescue another.
Monti’s mother, Janet, told The Boston Globe that her son was helping fellow Soldiers reach cover when he was shot to death by Taliban fighters. She said he saved the life of one wounded Soldier before he was shot.
Christopher Cunningham, an Army Ranger who was with Monti’s unit that day, nominated Monti for the Medal of Honor.
“I’ve seen my fair share of fighting with the enemy, and that was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen a Soldier do,’’ he told the Boston Globe. “What he did was amazing.”
In 12 years of service, Monti was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, five Army Commendation medals, four Army Achievement medals, three Good Conduct medals and three National Defense medals, according to the Web site for a scholarship fund started in his honor.