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Jared Christopher Monti

U.S. Army / Medal of Honor

He refused to stop attempting
to rescue an injured fellow soldier, and it cost him his life

As machine-gun rounds crashed into rocks all around him, Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti saw one of his men lying wounded and exposed in the middle of a fearsome insurgent ambush, deep in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Monti ran toward Pvt. 1st Class Brian Bradbury to pull him to safety but was turned back by bursts of gunfire. He tried again and again was turned back. Monti rose and ran a third time toward Bradbury.

“Would every man have the ability to muster the courage to do that? No. I don’t believe they would,” says Command Sgt. Maj. James Redmore, who first met Monti in 1998 when they served together in the 82nd Airborne.

On June 21, 2006, Monti was the assistant leader of a 16-man reconnaissance patrol from 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, moving through the rugged mountains of Nurestan province in northeastern Afghanistan.

Insurgents, who may have been alerted to the patrol’s position by a re-supply helicopter, attacked just before nightfall. As many as 50 fighters fired down on the patrol from a wooded ridgeline with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

After organizing a quick defense, Monti called in air support and artillery fire from nearby bases. Redmore, the 3rd Brigade sergeant major who listened to the fight unfold over the radio, says Monti’s actions stalled the attack and prevented the small patrol from being overrun.

“I don’t think anybody ever expects to do anything extraordinary,” Redmore says. “They try to do their job every day the best they can.

“They’re being overwhelmed by an enemy force. He’s calmly calling in fire, which breaks up the enemy force, and he’s going out to try to retrieve one of his fallen comrades. He does it once, twice, a third time. Is it extraordinary? Absolutely.”

On Monti’s last attempt to reach Bradbury, an RPG exploded nearby, mortally wounding him. Another American, Staff Sgt. Patrick Lybert, died during the attack, and several more were wounded.

Bradbury, the soldier Monti was trying to save, died later, along with flight medic Staff Sgt. Heath Craig, who had been lowered by winch cable from a Medevac helicopter.

As Craig and Bradbury were being pulled up, the cable broke, and the two men fell to their deaths.

Read about the other Medal of Honor recipients

Brian Mockenhaupt is a Detroit-based writer who is an Alicia Patterson fellow reporting on the physical and psychological effects of war. He served as a noncommissioned officer with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 2002 to 2005, spending 18 months in Iraq.

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Jared Christopher Monti

Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti's actions prevented his patrol from being overrun in Afghanistan, but he died while making a third attempt to rescue a fallen comrade. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army)

  • Jared Christopher Monti
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Jared Christopher Monti

U.S. Army / Medal of Honor

Died June 21, 2006

Sgt. 1st Class Jared Christopher Monti, 30, was born Sept. 20, 1975, in Abington, Mass., and grew up in Raynham, Mass. He enlisted in the Army in March 1993 and deployed to Afghanistan in February 2006 as a forward observer with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. He was killed June 21, 2006, near Gowardash, Afghanistan.

Made three attempts to rescue a seriously injured comrade and called in air support while under heavy fire during a fierce battle in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan / Nurestan

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