Thursday, September 17, 2009

SFC Jared C Monti Medal of Honor


(CBS/AP) President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor - the nation's top military decoration - to the family of a Massachusetts soldier who died saving the life of a wounded comrade in Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama honored Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti of Rayham, Mass. during an East Room ceremony at the White House Thursday. Standing with Monti's parents, Janet and Paul, Obama said Monti personified the values of duty, honor, sacrifice and heroism.

Americans often toss around such words too freely, the president said.

"Do we really grasp the meanings of these values?" he asked.

Jared Monti of Raynham, Mass. died during a firefight with insurgents in Gowardesh, Afghanistan in June 2006. He helped his troop set up a defensive position following an ambush, called in air support, and then directly engaged the enemy with his rifle and a grenade - thwarting an attempt to flank the troop.

The 30-year-old Monti showed "conspicuous gallantry," the White House declared when announcing he would win the Medal of Honor for his role in the fight along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Medals of Honor awarded by Congress are the highest award for military valor, typically reserved for members of the military who risk their lives with gallantry beyond the call of duty.

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