Share This Episode
Our American Stories Lee Habeeb Logo

A Medal of Honor Recipient Through The Eyes of His Father

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2023 3:00 am

A Medal of Honor Recipient Through The Eyes of His Father

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1290 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

May 27, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Paul Monti, father of Medal of Honor recipient Jared Monti, tells his son's story.

Support the show (

See for privacy information.


What up, it's dramas from the Life as a Gringo podcast.

We are back with a brand new season. Now Life as a Gringo speaks to Latinos who are born or raised here in the States. It's about educating and breaking those generational curses that man have been holding us back for far too long. I'm here to discuss the topics that are relevant to all of us and to define what it means to live as our true authentic self.

Listen to Life as a Gringo on the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. Brought to you by State Farm. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Your plans? Today it's dinner with the parents at your spot. We gotta come back here. Now their spot.

Or you're on the edge of your seat at the game. Come on, just one time. And it's the one. Or maybe you're catching the next flight to now boarding flight 1850. Oh, that's you. The choice is yours. And when you're with Amex, it's not if it's going to happen, but one.

American Express. Don't live life without it. Get 30% stronger in just eight weeks with GNC AMP Weyballik from America's number one protein powder brand for building strength. Weyballik increases strength and stamina with half the sets in the gym and delivers clinically proven results with 40 grams of ultra pure protein per serving before a workout, after a workout, even on days off. Amplify your results and enjoy amazing flavors.

Grab GNC AMP Weyballik today at or visit a GNC store near you. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories Memorial Day special. All show long, we're honoring our nation's fallen heroes. You might know the song I Drive Your Truck by Lee Bryce. It went to the top of the country charts in 2014. But do you know the story of the man who inspired the song? His name was Jared Monti, and he was a hero of the highest caliber. Jared received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2006.

Here to tell Jared's story is Paul Monti, his father. I think his lot in life was to try to bring joy to anybody and everybody that he ever met. Well, Jared was a very adventurous kid. There wasn't a tree too high for him to climb or a hill.

There wasn't a body of water too wide too deep for him to cross. There were certain characteristics in him that became apparent as he grew. We like to talk about his life in terms of three principles that he lived by, the first of which was to always try your hardest. And this we noticed with him, whether it was sports or school or anything else that he had to do. He was a kid that always gave 100% to everything he did.

His second principal was to never give up, and that became also apparent. One of the stories I like to tell regarding that was he was a really, really good basketball player. He was pretty much the shortest kid in his class, but he was a heck of a basketball player. And when he went to middle school, he tried out for the JV team, and he was the last one cut from the team. His fellow players said they were all gonna quit because Monty wasn't picked. And Jared got them together and talked to them and said, hey, you don't quit. You guys keep going.

Don't worry about me. So that passed, and the next year, middle school, he tried out for the team again. And again, he was the last cut. And then the third year, he tried out again. And then the third year, he tried out again, this time for the varsity. And the varsity coach came up to him and said, Jared, why don't you accept the position as team manager?

And you can warm up with the team before games, but of course you can't play. And he accepted that. After the second game, the coach found a uniform for him because, you know, it was kind of embarrassing. He was the only one in street clothes warming up. And then after the third game, the coach started using him as a mop up player towards the end of a game. By the end of the season, he was outscoring some of the starters on the team. At his graduation from middle school, when they were giving out the awards for the basketball team, the coach got up and read all the names. And then when he got to the end, he said, this last guy is the epitome of what an athlete should be.

And he's the biggest mistake that I ever made in my 25 years of coaching basketball. What an honor to a young man and what courage it took for him to do that and to be that guy that, you know, never gave up, that kept on trying. What a character he must have had to do that kind of a thing. He always did the right thing.

No matter what it cost him personally, doing the right thing was just out of him. You know, one day when I came home and looked in his room, his bed was missing. And I called him and I said, Jared, where's your bed? He said, well, Dad, one of my friends was kicked out of his house. He's sleeping over someone else's house and they don't have a bed for him. He's sleeping on the floor and he can't sleep.

I don't mind sleeping on the floor, Dad. So I gave him my bed. Another incident, he came to me one day and said, Dad, would you mind if I cut down one of those spruce trees we have in the front of the house? I said, no, Dad, I'm going to have it in the front of the house. I said, well, what do you want that for? He said, well, guys and I, we want to have our own Christmas tree. I said, well, okay, go ahead. And it was only after his death when one of his friends came up to me and said, Mr. Monti, you remember the Christmas tree Jared cut down?

And I said, yeah. He said, well, he didn't really cut that down for us. He found a single mom in town that had three kids and didn't have enough money to celebrate Christmas with the kids. So he brought it to her house and got lights for it and ornaments for it. He bought presents for all the kids and for the woman. And then he stayed and made Christmas dinner for them all and never told a soul.

It's these kinds of things that he did and with great humility. I remember a day when he asked me to drive him to a weightlifting competition. I did. I drove him there and I said, well, when do you want me to pick you up? Or do you want me to come in? He says, no, no, no, no, no.

I'll get a ride home with somebody else. Now, after his death, I went up to clean his room and underneath his bed was a box full of trophies and soccer trophies and baseball trophies and basketball trophies. But what stood out was this three foot trophy that was under the bed of a weightlifter.

And I read the plaque and it said, New England Weightlifting Championships, first place under 17 Division, Jared Monti. Never told anybody. It wasn't being done for personal gain.

It was just this is something I want to do to, you know, for myself. And that's what he did. It just carried on throughout his life. And the culmination of all of that was on that day that that he died. And you're listening to Paul Monti tell the story of his fallen son. And my goodness, if you're a son and your dad speaks these words over you like this, you are one lucky man.

And if you're a dad who gets to speak these words about his son, you're one lucky father. When we come back, more of this remarkable story, this beautiful story, father and son bond, a fallen soldier's story honoring all those who fell in all of our wars here on Memorial Day. More of Paul Monti's story and Jared's here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country, stories from our big cities and small towns.

But we truly can't do the show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to our American and click the donate button. Give a little, give a lot.

Go to our American and give. on Xfinity Flex, all for free, no strings attached. Say free this week into your Xfinity voice remote. Want to get away but still listen to your favorite radio stations and podcasts?

Then listen up. iHeartRadio is now the onboard music partner on select Southwest flights. That means you can jam out to your favorite local radio station, even if you're flying coast to coast. Check out expertly curated stations that are perfect for kids and adults, available on most domestic Southwest flights and perfect for a full nonstop or those pesky minutes between a movie ending and your plane touching down.

So grab your headphones, raise your tray table and relax with iHeartRadio and Southwest Airlines. With backyard barbecues and summer get togethers coming in hot, it's the perfect time to upgrade your entertainment setup. Whether it's outdoor movies on the big screen or cheering on your favorite soccer team with friends, you can get a 65 inch Vizio V Series 4K Smart TV for just $398 at Walmart. With its big screen, crystal clear picture and built-in apps like iHeartRadio to play all your favorite music, radio and podcasts, this is the perfect TV for gatherings big or small.

Get yours at Walmart today. And we return to Our American Stories Memorial Day Special and the story of Sergeant First Class Jared Monti. When we last left off, Paul Monti, Jared's father, was telling us about the kind of person that his son was.

Let's pick up where we last left off. Well, it was his junior year in high school and he came home and said, dad, can I talk to you? I said, sure. He said, I want to join the army dad. And I said, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. I said, you know, you're, you're an A student. You're going to go to college, son. He said, well, dad, you can't afford to send me to college. And I said, well, you know, Jared, I'll just get another job. He said, dad, you're already working two and three jobs.

Let me do this. I'll go in the army and they'll pay for my college. What was I to say? You know, being only 17, I had to sign papers for him. And I did very reluctantly. But, you know, like I had said before, he was a very adventurous kid. And this, this really appealed to him, this idea of, you know, the adventure of the military and seeing the world and he loved his country. So there it was, it was made for him. He was a 13F Ford observer, what we used to call the suicide squad because they were always operating behind enemy lines.

That bothered me too. I mean, like I said, we called it the suicide squad, but danger, dangerous things never bothered him. You know, he loved the roller coaster. He loved riding a motorcycle. That kind of thing didn't bother him. And especially in the military where he knew how important it was to saving lives. That's, that's what he loved. He number of times got himself into trouble in the military for that kind of a thing of being a little more adventurous than some officer wanted him to be.

I remember an incident in South Korea where he had to take his platoon out on basically a war war games maneuver. And they came to a stream, which was flowing really quickly. They were supposed to cross this stream. And when Jared saw the stream, he, he halted his guys and said, you know what? That doesn't look safe at all.

Let me go out and check it and make sure it's safe for all of us. Now being a Sergeant at that time, normally you would assign that to, you know, a private or someone, but Jared always led from the front. It was always my boys, dad, my boys. He looked upon them as young people that he had to protect. It was his job to make sure his guys were safe. So he forded the stream, but he ended up getting washed downstream.

They all thought he was dead, but luckily enough, there was a floating branch in the water that he was able to cling to until they found him and, and took him out. But that's again, it's, it, it was always a matter of him taking the chances and not allowing his boys to be in the line of danger. That's, that's just who he was.

It's just what he did. And yeah, he ended up being twice deployed to Afghanistan. Probably the most dangerous area in all of Afghanistan was this area in the Kuna Valley. This was the place where the Taliban would come in from Pakistan. This was their main route. And the army had decided that they were going to put a kibosh on this.

They had tried a number of times and were never successful, but they did put together this plan. So Jared with his platoon and Chris Cunningham, who was another Sergeant, he was a sniper and he had his snipers. So there were 16 of them all together.

Eight of them were forward observers and eight snipers. And they were tasked to climb this mountain. The mountain was 8,500 feet high to set up an observation post at the top of the mountain to view the crossing area down below in the valley so that they could call in fire when the main force a day later was to come into the valley. So in a hundred degree heat and all of these guys carrying, you know, packs of 70 plus pounds, climbing mostly at night, they climbed Hill 2610.

It took them two days to climb that. Now as an aside to that, the night before they left to make this climb, I got a call very early in the morning, got me out of bed, got out of bed. I answered the phone, said hello. And I heard, hi, pop, happy Father's Day.

And I was like shocked that he would call me that he would call me to wish me a happy Father's Day. And at the end of that conversation, he said, dad, I got to go. We're leaving on a mission. And that's when they, they left to climb that, that mountain.

It was hot. They were out of food. They were out of water. And the army had made provisions to have an air drop for them. At the same time, they were going into the valley so that the helicopter dropping their provisions wouldn't be noticed. However, because one helicopter was down, needed repairs, the army decided to postpone the attack into the valley for two days, for two days, which left the guys at the top without food and water. And the army then decided to send in their supply helicopter anyway. The helicopter came in, it missed the drop point and dropped the stuff way too near them, marking their position.

As the sun was setting on that day, they heard noises in the woods that surrounded this plateau, about half the size of a football field. And at that point, all hell broke loose. Small arms fire, machine guns, RPGs started raining in on us. Machine guns, RPGs started raining in on their position so badly that these guys couldn't pop their head up. One of them got his rifle shot out of his hands.

Another one was shot in the wrist and in the back. The trees surrounding them had no branches left on them. And Private Bradbury and another soldier who had been kind of at the point that they were in danger of being overrun. And so they decided to run back to the opposite end where there were some rocks they could hide behind. The one soldier made it, but Bradbury was hit and he was down. It's like being in the middle of a football field or a baseball field, totally devoid of any cover whatsoever.

No rocks, no trees. And the enemy was still fighting at them. Jared called in for artillery, mortars, air support, danger close, which I think people understand that means the bombs are going to be dropping so close to you that if you're not down, the chances are you're going to be killed as well as the enemy. And after calling in the coordinates, that's when Jared handed off the radio to someone else.

And that's when he tightened his chin strap. Chris Cunningham had said, I'm going out to get Bradbury. Jared answered him back and said, no, he's my boy.

I'm going to get him. When we come back, more of the remarkable story of Jared and Paul Monti here on Our American Stories. Thanks for joining us on Our American Stories.

We'll be right back. Check out expertly curated stations that are perfect for kids and adults, available on most domestic Southwest flights and perfect for a full nonstop or those pesky minutes between a movie ending and your plane touching down. So grab your headphones, raise your tray table and relax with iHeart Radio and Southwest Airlines. With backyard barbecues and summer get togethers coming in hot, it's the perfect time to upgrade your entertainment setup. Whether it's outdoor movies on the big screen or cheering on your favorite soccer team with friends, you can get a 65 inch Vizio V Series 4K Smart TV for just $398 at Walmart. With its big screen, crystal clear picture and built in apps like iHeart Radio to play all your favorite music, radio and podcasts. This is the perfect TV for gatherings, big or small.

Get yours at Walmart today. And we return to Our American Stories Memorial Day Special and the story of Sergeant First Class Jared Monti. When we last left off, Jared and the group of men he had helped to lead into one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan was surrounded by a group of 50 insurgents outmanned and outgunned. And to add to the situation, Brian J. Bradbury was down and exposed to enemy fire.

Jared decided he would expose himself to in order to save his private. Let's return to the story. He ran out to get Bradbury and he was driven back by the heavy enemy fire.

There were at least 50 Taliban firing at them. And then he tried a second time and was driven back a second time. And, you know, not being able to give up and wanting to do the right thing, out he went the third time. That's when he was hit by the RPG and he was killed.

And that's, that's what led up to him receiving the Medal of Honor. I haven't gotten through it. Next month will be 15 years and I'm still stuck in it. No one should lose a child. It's not supposed to happen that way. It's, you know, the parents go first and the children grieve for them. I'll never forget that night, 9.45 p.m., I'm sitting watching America's Got Talent and my doorbell rang and I saw two men come around the side of the house in uniform and I knew immediately. You know, you answer the door and you get the government response. You know, we, we need to inform you that, you know, your son was, was killed in action. And from that moment on, you just, you're off somewhere.

I remember sitting down with them at the dining room table and having a stack of papers shoved in front of me and asked to sign this, sign this, sign this, and you just go through the motions. You don't want to believe what they're saying. You want to think that someone made a mistake. I was so, I was so messed up. I mean, his guys, they couldn't believe what happened. Monty was so revered to them that nothing could ever happen to him. To this day, they have the same feeling.

They all, I don't think any of them have ever gotten over what happened. He wasn't just, you know, their sergeant. He was their friend.

Yeah, I'm your boss and I'm going to, you know, guide you, but I'm going to be your friend. Back in the States, every weekend, he would either be going to someone's house to help them put in a floor, or he was having a barbecue for them, or if there was a celebration for one of their children, he would be there. He took care of them as if they were, and indeed they were, his brothers. That's where my pride comes in, that he was such a good human being. That I wonder if I'm even worthy to be called his father. It's really very, very difficult to understand that a person like this is related to you, never mind being your own son.

That a person like this is related to you, never mind being your own son. I wasn't even expecting the truck. When they delivered all his stuff from his apartment in New York, the last thing that came off was his truck, and I was like, wow. There was a empty bottle. Well, it wasn't quite empty on the floorboards. He liked his char, so he always had a bottle with him to spit into.

That was in there. He had toothpaste in there. He had mouthwash. He had a toothbrush. He had, yeah, he had a little container of coins. He had, oh, lord, just, you know, a guy's truck.

I mean, it's pretty much the same even now, 15 years later, as it was when he left. I never vacuumed it. It sure needs it, but I just don't want to remove his DNA.

I don't want that sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. So, yeah, it's a little messy, but it's him, and he's with me when I drive it. I don't drive it as much as I used to.

It was my everyday vehicle for a while, and then I realized that it had to be preserved, so I got another vehicle, but I still make sure I drive his truck whenever I can, at least once a week, to get it out. Some people have said, you know, time heals all wounds. It doesn't. It absolutely doesn't.

I'm 15 years in, and it's almost like it happened yesterday. This is the way it is. The way my life is now, you know, there's a door in front of me that I can't open, and my life is now, you know, there's a door in front of me with my son's name on it, and I'm expecting to be able to open that door and go and visit him and go to sports games with him and go fishing with him and just have him over my house for a barbecue to hold his kids, my grandkids, on my lap.

That's what I expect when I open that door, but when I actually reach out and open that door, it's just totally dark inside. There will be no barbecues in the backyard. There will be no Red Sox games.

There will be no fishing trips. There will be no grandkids. I know the Lord works in very mysterious ways, and I know that no matter who you are, when a loved one dies, you always have that question, why God?

But I was actually able to answer that question. The whole thing that came about from my son's death, the fact that we now have a charity that places flags on every grave at the National Cemetery in Pourn, every Memorial Day and every Veterans Day, now placing 77,000 flags, the fact that we were able to give out $16,000 in scholarship money this year, the effect that Jared's had on so many people, especially young people, throughout the entire country, indeed, in some cases, the world. It seems to me that God looked down and he said, you know, Jared, you're doing a fabulous job on that planet, but if you come up here with me, you'll be able to do even more.

And that's what he's been doing since he passed, even more. And a spectacular job by Monty, as always. And my goodness, what a piece of storytelling from Paul Monty. I haven't gotten through it. No one should lose a child.

The parent goes first. He wasn't just their sergeant, he said, he was their friend. He was such a good human being.

The story of Jared Monty, the story of Paul Monty, here on Our American Stories. An upgrade for any TV lets you stream your favorite entertainment in brilliant 4K HDR picture and hear every detail with auto speech clarity. Whether you're hosting a party or just cleaning the house, turn it up and rock out with iHeartRadio and room-filling sound. Learn more about Roku Stream Bar today at

Happy streaming. Our favorite part of summer? Going to the beach, duh. Cheap Caribbean gets you amazing deals on all-inclusive beach vacays. And this Memorial Day weekend, you can save more money on your summer beach getaway. Cheap Caribbean is offering all-inclusive hotel deals for as low as $89 per person per night. That includes all your food, all your drinks, and all the beach fun for only $89 per night. Don't wait until the last minute.

Secure Memorial Day weekend deals now until May 29th at Feeling comfortable starts with the right bra and Lovelit's got you covered. Literally, the DreamCurve Bubble Full Coverage Push-Up Bra provides unparalleled support and comfort from day to night, making it the ultimate bra for anyone leading a busy lifestyle.

Designed in up to an H cup with lightweight foam cups and memory foam straps, it's so comfortable you'll probably even forget you're wearing it. We're giving you 15% off your DreamCurve Bra at with discount code love15. That's L-U-V-1-5 at Lovelit. Lift with love.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-27 12:12:24 / 2023-05-27 12:23:26 / 11

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime