President Obama flubbed his remarks to troops at Fort Drum Thursday when he told the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division about the time he awarded the first Medal of Honor to someone not receiving it posthumously. The medal, he said, went to Jared Monti. The only issue is that Jared Monti died in service in Afghanistan, and did in fact receive the medal posthumously.
CBN News, which first reported the gaffe, provides the transcript of the President’s speech:
“Throughout my service, first as a senator and then as a presidential candidate and then as a President, I’ve always run into you guys. And for some reason it’s always in some rough spots.
First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. 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.”
Hot Air Pundit has the relevant clip of the speech:
Below is a video of Obama awarding the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti’s family:
CBN News contacted the White House but was told the President did not have any prepared remarks. However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted the president made a mistake:
“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.”
As mentioned by Carney, the Military Times believes Obama may have confused Monti with the only living Medal of Honor recipient, Sal Giunta, and reports that Monti, leading a scouting mission along the Pakistan border, rescued two soldiers before he was killed by an enemy grenade.
The Times may have summed it up best when, at the end of its piece, it noted “the least we can do for our honored dead is to remember them.”
(H/T David Brody)
This article has been updated.