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A Medal Of Honor For Sgt. Monti, Who Went To Save His Man

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A Medal Of Honor For Sgt. Monti, Who Went To Save His Man

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A Medal Of Honor For Sgt. Monti, Who Went To Save His Man

He sacrificed his life for one of his men. Courtesy of 10th Mountain Division. hide caption

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Courtesy of 10th Mountain Division.

The nation pays its highest military tribute to a fallen hero today when President Barack Obama awards a posthumous Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti of Raynham, Mass.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reported on Morning Edition, the 30-year-old Monti made a valiant effort to save one of his men during a ferocious firefight on a mountaintop in Afghanistan three years ago. Staff Sgt. Chris Cunningham tells Tom that when Monti heard during the battle that one of his men was missing, the 1st Sgt. said "he's my guy, I'm going to get him":

A Medal Of Honor For Sgt. Monti, Who Went To Save His Man

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The Military Times reports that Monti is the second service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for valor in Afghanistan. The other is Navy Lt. Michael Murphy.

The award, as the Medal of Honor Society explains, is:

The highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress, it is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The society has a full archive of medal recipients here.

Update at 2:45 p.m. ET. The president has awarded the medal. During his remarks, he talked about the bravery Monti showed:

A Medal Of Honor For Sgt. Monti, Who Went To Save His Man

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Update at 11:55 a.m. ET: At the Pentagon today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked if he is concerned by the fact that there has not yet been a Medal of Honor awarded to any living veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gates said he is bothered by that — and that it was one of former president George W. Bush's "real regrets" that he did not have sucn an opportunity. Then, Gates added that it's his understanding there are "some living potential recipients that have been put forward":

A Medal Of Honor For Sgt. Monti, Who Went To Save His Man

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Update at 9:45 a.m. ET: As commenter Robbie Thompson notes, Army.mil has a wonderful website about Sgt. Monti.