White House confirms Medal of Honor mistake

AP News
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Posted: Jun 25, 2011 12:28 AM
White House confirms Medal of Honor mistake

The White House is confirming that President Barack Obama misspoke about a Medal of Honor winner coming home alive during comments at Fort Drum in upstate New York.

Addressing soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division on Thursday, Obama said one of their comrades was the first person he had awarded the Medal of Honor who wasn't receiving it posthumously. In fact, the soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, was killed in action.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest says the president misspoke. He noted that Obama paid tribute to Monti in remarks to troops in Afghanistan in March 2010. But Salvatore Giunta was the first living recipient of the medal among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Earnest wouldn't confirm an ABC report that Obama had called Monti's family and apologized.