CMA Song of the Year Pays Tribute to Soldier-Son

Paul Monti Ram II

Photo by Marc Vasconcellos, The Enterprise

Country singer Lee Brice’s "I Drive Your Truck" won Song of the Year during the Nov. 6 Country Music Association Awards; it was inspired by an NPR radio interview given by Paul Monti, the father of a fallen soldier who finds comfort in driving the Dodge 4x4 pickup his son owned.

Monti did the NPR interview around Memorial Day 2011. He spoke about his son, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2006 while trying to rescue a fellow soldier. Monti said he couldn't part with his son's pickup and found himself driving the truck to feel closer to his son.

The song was written by Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary; Harrington was the first to hear the interview and jotted down a few notes that were later turned into a complete song. According to the Randolph Herald, it took the songwriters several years to track down Paul Monti to tell him it was his interview that inspired them to write the song.

As you might suspect, Monti was happy that the song won the Song of the Year Award. He still drives Jared’s half-ton Dodge and spends much of his time organizing Operation Flags, a group of volunteers who place flags on the graves of fallen veterans buried in the Massachusetts National Cemetery on both Memorial Day and Veterans Day.






God bless our soldiers.


Simply inspirational.... and an amazing song

Great song and that is coming from a guy who isn't a country music fan.
We need to remember our soldiers who have put country and freedom before life.
Good bless.

GUTS, GLORY- Our Soldiers. Sounds better without the ram crap.

Salute to you Veterans out there.

Not trying to say that this in any way a bad story, because it's one of the best auto-related stories I've read anywhere. But couldn't they have taken the man's picture at a slightly higher angle to make him not look so short? He and his son's memory deserve better than that.

Thanks for the story Mark. It is good to remember our veterans on this day.

A sad story. Such a big sacrifice . I hope we deserve it. Thank you .

My grandparent's neighbors had an only son who bought a brand new very early 1980's (can't be any newer than '82) Mitsubishi pickup, and he died the next year and the parents were devastated especially since he was their only child. The father, even retired and likely in his 90's still drives the immaculate little Mitsubishi every single day, polishes smudges off it carefully, and it may even be their only remaining vehicle.

The way my own grandfather described how devastated his neighbors were about the son's death, especially the father, it wouldn't surprise me if the elderly old man still drove his son's Mitsubishi slowly around the neighborhood without a destination, just driving in circles trying to hold onto his son, despite 30 years and the afterlife between them.

Honestly I didn't listen to the song, I don't have to to know how true it is. What we drive is more than just a vehicle, it is an extension of who we are and how we choose to live our lives, and to better understand somebody is to understand the vehicle they drive. Sometimes those we leave behind realize how close they can still be when they sit where we sat, held the wheel where our hands were, and felt the vehicle how we felt it, but just as importantly drove the same machine that gave us freedom that we chose to be ours.

Working with your Marines I do have immense respect for them and the US military.

We have had discussions when on the pi$$ and we generally state that their are three countries worth dying for they are the US, Canada and Australia. I would also add the UK.

The US has put an immense amount of effort globally to try and encourage constructive change, mainly with the Canadians, Poms (Brits) and us.

War is a tragic and inevitable part of life and the loss of a life is sometimes not given enough consideration by others.

Also, I would like to point out what we do isn't just for the country you serve, but also others. It's a voluntary existence that is both compassionate and you can witness violence.

Hopefully the life lost during military action amounts to a better world, for all. That's why we do what we do.

Paul's son would have understood this as well.

I take my hat off for Paul and salute you.

We call the 11th of the 11th at 1100 Rememberance Day, from the war to end all wars.

Very cool. God bless our soldiers man.

@big Al - I agree that unfortunately war is a fact of life. Too many see war as a viable solution to their problems or delusions of grandeur.
Our Remembrance day services are the same. 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th month.

This year, my youngest son's choir had the honour of singing our national anthem and a few other songs for the ceremony. My oldest son got to march in the procession to the Cenotaph with his Boy Scout Troup.
I was very proud of their contribution to the Remembrance Day service.
It is good for them to learn that good men die in war. They get conditioned to video games and other mass media where heroes never die and a player gets more than one life.

@The Real Lou
Sounds very 'British' a legacy from the Old Empire.

You should be very proud of your sons.

I have worked as a Catafalque Commander on what we call ANZAC Day here. It a very important day for our military. I have only missed one ANZAC Day in my career of over 2 decades.

The Catafalque Commander is the person charged with ensuring the sentries are posted at each corner of the Centotaph. It involves slow marching on and quick marching off and rifle drill.

In my 'junior' years I have done the Centotaph Sentry. It's hard at the longer ceremonies of over 1 hour. Standing at rest at arms, with you head tilted down, not able to move. (you wiggle your toes).

The different pace used marching signify a meaning. The slow march is signifying death and the mourning. The quick march at the end of the ceremony signifies that all was not in vain, a postitive ending of remembrance.

Rest at arms is one of the hardest rifle drills to do. Different rifles also have different drill.

The sad fact remains that war will be ongoing as long as there are more than two people on this planet.

This is another reason I believe in opening up trade. Believe it or not economic ties and reliance on each other helps smooth over the rough patches between countries.

But throughout history wacko's have managed to rule countries. These wacko's are dangerous.

As I've pointed out most every person on this planet want their kids to live in a secure and better world.

John Lennon wrote a fantastic song that covers this.

Great story.

God Bless those who have served, are serving, and will serve this great nation.

God bless the troops.

Still have my dads flag.

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