ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@MaryKBruce) Reports:
Visiting troops at Fort Drum yesterday, President Obama confused his Medal of Honor recipients, referring to one of the soldiers’ comrades who was killed in combat in Afghanistan as being alive.
Speaking to the 10th Mountain Division Obama reflected on the time he spent with members of the Division. “Throughout my service, first as a senator and then as a presidential candidate and then as a president, I’ve always run into you guys,” he said. “And for some reason it’s always in some rough spots.”
“First time I saw the 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,” the president said.
Jared Monti was actually killed in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006. True, Obama did aware him the Medal of Honor – the highest military decoration awarded by the United States – but he did so posthumously in September 2009.
Obama presented the first Medal Of Honor to a living recipient who served in Afghanistan to Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta last year.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney later corrected the president’s mistake.
“At Fort Drum, the President misspoke when discussing the first Medal of Honor he presented posthumously to Jared Monti, who was a member of the 10th Mountain Division. The President paid tribute to Monti in his remarks to troops in Afghanistan in March 2010. Last year, the President presented the Medal of Honor to Salvatore Giunta, who was the first living recipient of the Medal who served in Afghanistan,” he said.