Sunday, August 2, 2009

Soldier Receives Posthumous Medal of Honor for Actions in Afghanistan

The Army News Service is reporting on the first soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for actions during Operation Enduring Freedom, SFC Jared Monti (above photo):

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First Soldier to receive Medal of Honor for valor in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 24, 2009) -- Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, who was killed in Afghanistan June 21, 2006, will receive the Medal of Honor for his valor in combat, the White House has announced.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to award Monti's Medal of Honor Sept. 17, to his parents in a White House ceremony. His father Paul Monti currently lives in Raynham, Mass., where his son was born and raised.

Monti, 30, was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, when he was killed in Gowardesh, Afghanistan, in a battle with enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. He displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor, according to the White House release, which goes on to say he sacrificed his own life in an effort to save his comrade.

Monti was born Sept. 20, 1975, and graduated from Bridgewater-Raynham High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1993. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Okla.

His previous military decorations include: the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, five Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, and three National Defense Service Medals.

He was posthumously promoted to sergeant first class.

Monti will become the sixth servicemember to receive the Medal of Honor during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the first Soldier to receive the nation's highest award for valor in Afghanistan.

Navy Lt. Michael Murphy is the only other servicemember to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan.

The Army's Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith and Spc. Ross McGinnis have received the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq.

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Charles M. Grist

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