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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:10 PM
Original message
Obama to present his first Medal of Honor
Source: MSNBC

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will award his first Medal of Honor today.

The president will give the nation's highest military honor posthumously to Army Sgt. First Class Jared Monti. Monti was shot to death in the Afghan mountains in 2006 while trying for the third time to save a wounded comrade.

The White House says Monti went above and beyond the call of duty in sacrificing his own life to save another during combat.





Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32892528/ns/us_news-militar... /
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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. He shouldn't have to issue it.
Especially posthumously.

And that poor soldier shouldn't have had to die saving a buddy because the buddy never should have been in a place where he could come to harm.

So very sad.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. "Shouldn't" - but he died, and should be honored
His family should not be denied of seeing their son recognized.

Recently, it appears, we have stopped keeping track of the dead and the wounded. The only place where we are reminded that we still have troops die is on George Stephanopoulos program on ABC.
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Lost Jaguar Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. The NY Times...
...runs the sad toll in a sidebar virtually every day.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks. Good for the NY Times
Reminding the few who still read a print newspaper.. and that paper is the NYT.

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xocet Donating Member (699 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Here...
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Thank you. However, one has to know about these sites
to follow these numbers.

We need to have them front and center, just to remind the rest of the country that, right or wrong, there are still people who choose to serve in the military forces and many die.

And... welcome to DU.

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Rebubula Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. If frogs...
...had wings, they would not bump their ass.

They are and he did. He is a hero and I hope that his family finds comfort (however little) in this. Military families are a bit different than civilian in the way they deal with tragedy.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R n/t
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Geoff R. Casavant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm ambivalent about this award
I heard the story on NPR today. SFC Monti was a brave man, don't get me wrong, and I honor his sacrifice. But nothing in the event struck me as being particularly worthy of a Medal of Honor. SFC Monti attempted to rescue a brother in arms and was himself shot in the process, and he was not able to save the man. There are at least three "lesser" awards (the Bronze Star, Silver Star, and the Distinguished Service Cross) that would, in my opinion, have been more appropriate.

If there is more to the story than what made it to NPR, I'm willing to listen.
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harkadog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Sorry his sacrifice doesn't meet your standards
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Melinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Can you more fully explain your ambivalence?
Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Army, distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

See: http://www.americal.org/awards/moh.htm

Distinguished Service Cross

The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to a person who while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguished himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor; while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing or foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.

Silver Star

The Silver Star is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The required gallantry, while of a lesser degree than that required for the Distinguished Service Cross, must nevertheless have been performed with marked distinction.

Bronze Star

The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

See: http://www.americal.org/awards/achv-svc.htm


This brave soldier gave his life while attempting to save the life of another; I personally believe the MOH to be more than appropriate in this case. Can you tell me why you think he deserves less than the MOH, more specifically, one of the three you mentioned that I have delineated above? Thanks in advance.
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Geoff R. Casavant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. I look at it this way --
What it boils down to, is you have a brave soldier who risked his life and died to try and rescue another soldier. But I expect, unfortunately, that this is not the first time this has happened in the Afghanistan campaign, and has probably happened dozens if not hundreds of times since 2001. I didn't hear anything in the story I heard that set the particular attempted rescue apart from any of those other times.

I've also read and seen accounts of other MOH recipients, and invariably the deeds honored are virtually superhuman in scope. Compare that Admiral James Stockdale received a Medal of Honor for serving as the de facto commanding officer at the Hanoi Hilton for seven years, not breaking under excruciating torture, etc. Compare also that Norman Schwartzkopf earned "merely" a Silver Star for physically going into a minefield, getting injured by shrapnel in the process, to give first aid and lead out several men.

As I said, there may be an aspect to the events that wasn't covered in any of the news reports I've seen and heard, but so far, even in the other responses to my post, no one has seen fit to point them out. While SFC Monti is certainly deserving of recognition and honor, I've always held the MOH to be as sacred as our military gets, and consequently believe it should be awarded only under extraordinary circumstances.
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Congress merely approves the award...
after due consideration.

Whoever put him in for the award, knew him and knew he made the ultimate sacrifice.

It would be hard for whoever wrote the recommendation to watch his friend die trying to save one of his buddies and then say, "Sorry, not good enough for "The Medal"

Many of the recommendations are downgraded by either the Pentagon or Congress.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
12. We watched it as part of our history lesson today.
I love being able to watch these things live with my daughter who is soaking this stuff up like a sponge (7th grader).
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
13. It's the "Congressional Medal of Honor" not a President's MOH.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 07:03 PM by jody
10 USC 3741
The President may award, and present in the name of Congress, a medal of honor of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who while a member of the Army, distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty
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rayofreason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. Just saw a video of the presentation by Obama.
Well done Mr. President, an eloquent tribute to a true hero.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/jared-monti-ob...
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