Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama to Bestow Medal of Honor on Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama will posthumously award Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in Afghanistan, White House officials announced Friday.

The ceremony, scheduled for Sept. 17 at the White House, will mark the first time Obama confers the highest military honor, making Monti the sixth servicemember to receive the Medal of Honor for service in Afghanistan or Iraq since Sept. 11, 2001, all of which have been awarded posthumously.

Then a staff sergeant, Monti, 30, was killed June 21, 2006, while deployed to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division. He was posthumously promoted to sergeant first class.

"He displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor – eventually sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his comrade," according to the White House news release announcing the upcoming ceremony.

The fallen soldier's parents, Paul and Janet Monti, are scheduled to attend the White House ceremony. Monti also is survived by his sister, Niccole; his brother, Timothy; and his niece, Carys.

During his Army career, Monti earned several military decorations, including a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, five Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, and three National Defense Service Medals.

A native of Raynham, Mass., and a graduate of Bridgewater-Raynham High School, Monti enlisted in the Army in March 1993 and attended basic training at Fort Sill, Okla. His first assignment was as a forward observer in the 10th Mountain Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment.

The nonprofit Jared C. Monti Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to provide a scholarship annually to an eligible student.

The Medal of Honor has been conferred on 3,447 men and one woman since President Abraham Lincoln signed it into law on Dec. 21, 1861. It is reserved for those who are distinguished "by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
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