As President Obama addressed troops at a Fort Drum, N.Y., DFAC, he reminisced about how as a senator and as president, in Iraq and Afghanistan, “I’ve always run into you guys. And for some reason it’s always in some rough spots.”
“I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously,” Obama said, according to the White House official transcript.
Except that Monti was receiving it posthumously. At a White House ceremony in 2009, Obama presented Sgt. 1st Class Monti’s parents with the medal for his heroic actions in Afghanistan. Monti, 30, was leading a scouting mission along the Pakistan border when a resupply helicopter blew the unit’s cover; Monti twice ran into gunfire to retrieve a wounded comrade before he was killed by an enemy grenade.
Obama appeared to have confused Monti with the only living Medal of Honor recipient, Sal Giunta. The president’s got plenty on his plate, to be sure. But if he’s sincere when he says that it’s his greatest honor to be the commander-in-chief, you’d think he’d be able to remember the lone recipient of the military’s highest honor.
The Christian Broadcasting Network contacted the White House to see what happened and was told the President didn’t have prepared remarks. They quoted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as saying, “At Fort Drum, the President misspoke when discussing the first Medal of Honor he presented posthumously to Jared Monti, who was a member of the 10th Mountain Division. The President paid tribute to Monti in his remarks to troops in Afghanistan in March 2010. Last year, the President presented the Medal of Honor to Salvatore Giunta, who was the first living recipient of the Medal who served in Afghanistan.”