Feedback: Sgt. Jared Monti's Family Receives Medal of Honor
Part of the north country was at the White House Thursday, as President Obama awarded Sgt. Jared Monti the Medal of Honor.
Monti, who would have turned 34 this week, was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.
More than 100 of his relatives attended the ceremony, as did a large contingent from the 10th Mountain Division and various officials, including Congressman (and soon to be Secretary of The Army) John McHugh.
The President hailed Monti as showing heroism "no amount of training can instill."
The President referred the 10th as "the legendary 10th Mountain Division," and at one point asked members of the 10th to stand.
They did so, to sustained applause.
"May God bless Jared Monti and comfort the entire Monti family," the President said, "and may God bless the United States of America."
The President was joined by Monti's parents at the podium, as the Medal of Honor proclamation was read.
Monti - a member of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team - was killed in Afghanistan in June 2006, when 16 soldiers under his command were attacked on a narrow ridge durning an intelligence gathering mission.
Pinned down against an overwhelming enemy armed with rocket propelled grenades and machine guns, Monti radioed for help and realized that one of his men was wounded in the no man's land between the squad's position and the enemy.
That injured soldier was Brian Bradbury, a 22-year-old private.
Three times Monti tried to rescue the injured soldier, but on the third attempt he was hit by an RPG, blowing away his legs.
As he lay dying, Monti told his men that he was good with God to tell his family that he loved them.
Retired Army Colonel Mike Plummer of Watertown was to attend the ceremony, representing the North Country community.
General Michael Oates asked Colonel Plummer if he would attend.
"He (Monti) was the epitome of the values that you would expect from a non-commissioned soldier or officer," said Plummer.
Bradbury did survive the attack, but the winch on the medic helicopter carrying Bradbury and medic Staff Sergeant Heathe Craig broke and both fell to their deaths.
While tragic, Monti's selflessness came as no surprise to those who knew him, especially his family and friends and those who stood by him in battle.
Captain Matthew Jacobs is one of those friends.
"The guy was fearless. He would do anything for his buddies. He would do anything for his soldiers. It's just the kind of guy he was," said Jacobs.
Friday, March 7, 2014, Watertown, NY
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