Thursday, September 17, 2009

Medal of Honor Winner Honored by 10th Mountain Division

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment stand at attention during the rededication of Combat Outpost Monti, Sept. 17, in Kunar province, Afghanistan. Soldiers remembered the life and times of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti as his family received the Medal of Honor posthumously in Washington, D.C.
Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Selver, Task Force Chosin

By U.S. Army Sgt. Rob Frazier
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Sept. 17) - Thursday morning, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Soldiers gathered to remember the life, sacrifice, and selfless service of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti at the Combat Outpost that bears his name.

“President John F. Kennedy once said, ‘a nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but by the men it honors,’” said Chaplain Capt. Kevin Mucher, the chaplain for 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, of Ft. Drum, N.Y., at the beginning of the ceremony.

As a show of support and unity, Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, sat in their red chairs, filling the gaps between the walkways, at the center of the compound, to rededicate the COP nestled in the mountains of Eastern Kunar province.

According to the command sergeant major of 1st Bn., 32nd Inf. Reg., Command Sgt. Maj. James Carabello, a Boston native, the ceremony was “only fitting…and the right thing to do” for the Raynham, Mass., Soldier.

At the White House, Monti’s family, along with Service Members, past and present from 3rd Sqd., 71st Cav. Reg., were on-hand for another assembly as President Barack Obama posthumously bestowed the highest award for military valor to Monti’s family, the Medal of Honor.

“We honor him by continuing the fight and believing in the same things he believed in,” said the executive officer of 1st Bn., 32nd Inf. Reg., Maj. Pete Granger, who served as the Master of Ceremony for the tribute at COP Monti.

Those things, according to the Canandaigua, N.Y., Soldier, were, “his Soldiers, his friends, his family and his country.”
Monti’s name will forever be linked with the bravest of America’s Service Members including: Pfc. Jacob Parrot, the initial recipient in 1863, Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman to receive this honor; 1st Lt. Audie Murphy, the most decorated Soldier of WWII and Spc. Ross McGuiness, who was enshrined last year by President George W. Bush.

Monti is the sixth Soldier since 2001 to receive the Medal of Honor as a result of his actions displayed, while in support of the Global War on Terrorism encompassing both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“June 21, 2006, Sergeant First Class Monti, other forward observers and snipers were engaged in a firefight in the mountains near Gowardesh,” stated Staff Sgt. Matthew Wolfhanger, as he recounted the events of that evening. “We listened as Chaos3-5 (Monti’s call sign) called round after round on a seemingly endless enemy.”

According to several Soldiers who served with Monti, they state that in between calling for fire and directing his troops, Monti made the decision to retrieve Pfc. Brian Bradbury, who had been hit. After several attempts, Monti was mortally wounded when a rocket propelled grenade landed near him.

“When the team returned, they gave us the rest of the details of what had happened that night,” continued the Branchville, N.J. Soldier. “Sergeant First Class Monti had not only devastated the enemy with a mix of coolness and precision, but he had also made the ultimate sacrifice. He had given his life to save one of his own.”

1st Sgt. James Reese, who served as a Battle NCO with Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 3-71 CAV, the night Monti died, said after three years the feeling of losing a Soldier never gets any easier, but he is comforted by the personal and professional memories he has of Monti.

“He was a Soldier’s Soldier,” added the Monroe, Wi. Soldier. “He epitomized what a noncommissioned officer should be, and he took great pride in training his troops and commanded respect from others.”

Granger implored his troops to remember that the actions of Monti went far beyond one firefight mission on June 21, 2006, and his enshrinement as a Medal of Honor recipient serves as a final tribute to a person who was always held in the highest regards by the men and women he served with.

“Please remember him as a hero for everyday he served his country and for how he lived his life,” added Granger. “There can be no higher recognition bestowed on any of us than to be remembered as a person of honor, a selfless leader, devoted son and dedicated friend.”

SFC Jared Monti's parents will be awarded his Medal of Honor today at the White House
Tomorrow he will be inducted into the Hall of Honor at the Pentagon


Anonymous said...

God bless Him! Our "boots on the ground" in Afghanistan and Iraq are an amazing "Second Greatest Generation."

Jan Bradley
Nashville, TN.

Kristin said...

What a nice photo and post. I appreciate your dedication to our soldiers. My son is currently serving with the 173rd Airborne at COP Monti. I am proud of him, and proud of all our soldiers who are serving to make life better for people everywhere.