Obama's Medal of Honor speech drops jaws with insensitive mistake

Roz Zurko's picture

Obama made a sizable mistake yesterday while speaking in Fort Drum, his slip is raising questions by some about his lack of respect for the military and their Medal of Honor, which is held in the highest regard.

The Medal of Honor was disgraced yesterday in a speech made by the President, some are saying today. While others believe Obama's latest slip was no big deal for a man who has so much on his plate. Somewhere in the middle of this argument, one could say it would have been helpful for President to be prepared for his speech and make sure that what he was about to say would not leave people with their jaws dropping.

President Obama made a mistake while speaking off the cuff, the White House says this morning, while many think he made one of the biggest and most insensitive mistakes of his political career. While trying to buddy up with the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum yesterday, Obama said something that made the military men and women cringe, as seen on a video from Fox News.

Obama's speech included this: “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, and for some reason it’s always in some rough spots.”

“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.”

The problem being that Jared Monti was killed in 2006 and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on September 17, 2009. The mistake comes with a history for Obama, who took an active part in honoring Monti's memory when he died. This makes this even a bit more of a blunder on the part of the President because he honored Monti in 2009 with his parents in attendance. What he had to say, would not be forgotten by the average person, or it least they would remember the man's name.

Obama said to Monti's family back then: "they say it was a rocket-propelled grenade; that Jared made it within a few yards of his wounded soldier. They say that his final words, there on that ridge far from home, were of his faith and his family: “I’ve made peace with God. Tell my family that I love them.”

"And then, as the artillery that Jared had called in came down, the enemy fire slowed, then stopped. The patrol had defeated the attack. They had held on — but not without a price. By the end of the night, Jared and three others, including the soldier he died trying to save, had given their lives," Obama went on to say in his 2009 speech.

It was less than two years ago when Obama stood before a crowd, which included friends, family and people who served side by side with Monti, and gave what appeared to be his well thought out speech. How could he forget? This was taken more seriously than just a mistake to some, many feel that Obama's gaffe yesterday showed lack of respect to the Medal of Honor and the people who have received this. Others are pointing out that while the President goes through the motions of honoring the military, such as Monti, it is just a part of his job and he puts very little of himself or heart felt emotion into this. Still there are others who feel this is just a mistake and the President is a very busy man who just got names mixed up.

Obama did present the Medal of Honor to the first living recipient, but it wasn't Monti. This man is Salvatore Giunta, who served in Afghanistan. No matter how you stand on this mistake that Obama made, one thing that most would agree on - this should have been avoided. With the amount of people that the President has at his disposal and with the quick fact checking tool of the Internet, this would have taken seconds to get the name correct.

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