An Army soldier killed during the war in Afghanistan in 2006 was honored Sunday in Massachusetts ahead of Veterans Day.
Thirteen years after his death in Afghanistan, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti was honored with a bronze memorial plaque at Shea Memorial Grove in Weymouth, where more than 30 stones hold the names of local soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor.
Mayor Robert Hedlund and other local officials offered tributes during the ceremony, which attracted dozens of people from several communities. An honor guard with Naval Sea Cadets was also present.
The ceremony ended with Monti’s father, Paul, crouching down near his son’s plaque while overcome with emotion as he was reminded of the pain he has felt for the past 13 years.
“Truthfully, it’s just another reminder, shouted from the skies — ‘Hey, your son is dead.’ And that hurts,” he said.
Monti was killed in June 2006 when the 16-member platoon he was commanding was attacked by about 60 Taliban fighters. Specialist Brian Bradberry was badly wounded and collapsed in the open.
Under heavy enemy fire, Monti made three attempts to rescue Bradberry before he was struck and killed by a rocket-propelled grenade.
In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Monti the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, for his bravery.
The medals and plaques engraved with his name can never fill the emptiness left behind by the 30-year-old Raynham native's death.
“All these years now — 13 years — I’ve never really been able to put him to rest," his dad says.
Paul Monti adds that if his son Jared was here, he wouldn't have wanted the attention, that he didn't build his life for the fame or the glory; he built it for serving his country.