Obama Apologizes to Family of Medal of Honor Recipient

Katie Pavlich

6/25/2011 8:47:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

It's about time.

Yesterday Erika reported while President Obama spoke to troops this week at Fort Drum, he referred to Medal of Honor Recipient Sergeant First Class Jared Monti as being alive although he was killed in action in 2006 while serving in Afghanistan.

"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."

President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to the parents of Sergeant First Class Jared Monti on September 17, 2009, after Sergeant Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006.
 
We all get mixed up and misspeak at times, but this just smacks of carelessness. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration we have, awarded for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States," and for the President to make such an error in public is painfully embarrassing. The White House issued a correction, but still:
 
Obama apparently confused Monti with Salvatore Giunta, the first living soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Giunta received the honor last year for his actions in Afghanistan in the fall of 2007.

ABC's Jake Tapper confirms Obama has apologized to Monti's family for the mistake:

President Obama today apologized to the family of a Medal of Honor recipient whom he erroneously said was still alive.

On his Facebook page this evening, Monti's father, Paul, posted: "FYI- President Barack Obama telephoned me personally this afternoon to apologize for his error in his speech to the 10th mountain division re: Jared's medal ceremony. Apology accepted."