This article is the first of many Medal of Honor biographies Veterans United will begin posting on the Network. We at Veterans United strive to honor our military service members in all we do, especially those men and women who have been bestowed the highest award for their sacrifices.
Our first biography is the story of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on Sept. 17, 2009 for his courageous actions in the mountains of Afghanistan on June 21, 2006.
Jared was born on Sept. 20, 1975 in Abington, Mass. and grew up in nearby Raynham. At an early age he began to display a spirit of adventure. His mother, Janet, recalled that he had always dreamed of being in the military. At the age of 4 he disappeared while he was playing in the backyard, to be found later by his mother dangling by his sweatshirt on the other side of a fence.
Even when he was ill, he could not sit still. One day, he stayed home from school because of a migraine, but was later found climbing a tree. In high school he took an interest in bodybuilding, and by the time he graduated in 1994, he was the New England weightlifting champion.
After graduation, Jared attended basic training and individual advanced training in Fort Sill, Ok. Afterwards he earned the Military Occupation Specialty of 13F – Forward Observer. He trained to be a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. His colleagues said that he had a natural ability to lead as well as to be generous. While stationed at Fort Bragg, Monti gave away a $500 kitchen table to a fellow soldier whose children were eating dinner on the floor. During his time in Bosnia, he drove kids to school in his Humvee and he gave away all of the new clothes his mother sent him. Jared suffered injuries from multiple parachute jumps in Kosovo, but declined a medical discharge and re-enlisted when he learned that his unit was being deployed to Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Monti arrived in Afghanistan in 2006 with the 10th Mountain Division and was assigned to Task Force Spartan.
Medal of Honor Action
On June 21, 2006 Staff Sgt. Monti led a 16-man patrol in the Hindu Kush mountains while taking part in Operation Gowardesh Thrust. The purpose of the patrol was to gather intelligence and direct fire against the enemy. During his mission, 50 enemy fighters ambushed him and his team. To prevent being overrun, Staff Sgt. Monti directed his men to take a defensive position in a rock formation. There he called for indirect fire support and also engaged the enemy himself with his rifle.
Staff Sgt. Monti realized that one of his soldiers lay wounded on the open ground between their position and the coming enemy.Without concern for his own safety, he attempted to move behind the cover of the rocks in order to aid his fallen teammate. On the third try, he went into the open in the face of oncoming enemy fire, and he was mortally wounded. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sgt. 1st Class.
Photos courtesy of The U.S. Army