Song of the Year Touches Military Community – Homefront United Network
Country music isn’t the first station I turn to when I get into the car; but there’s something about a good country song. It is almost like one of those great 80’s rock ballads, you just can’t replicate it that easily in the mainstream music world. So when Lee Brice walked up to receive the Song of the Year award at the CMA’s I knew it would probably be a good one, as are most country music songs that win that particular award. But I thought, it was still just a song, nothing life altering.
The truth is that “I Drive Your Truck” isn’t just another song, the power of it has affected country music listeners and non-country music listeners alike. “I Drive Your Truck” was inspired by the life of Paul Monti and his son Jared, a Medal of Honor Recipient who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama in 2009.
While on deployment in Afghanistan Monti and his unit came under enemy fire. Monti attempted to rescue one of his fellow soldiers, but was killed in the process.
In an interview by the Boston Herald, Paul Monti, Jared’s father, told the story that began circulating on news outlets and social media, about the songs origins. A few years ago the song’s writer, Connie Harrington, was driving in her car when she heard Jared’s father being interviewed on NPR. Harrington was so touched by the story, she had to pull over to the side of the road. She listened as he spoke of his son’s truck and how he still drives it. Monti said, in his interview with the Boston Herald, “It’s comforting to me to be in the vehicle he drove….and I will keep it on the road as long as I possibly can.”
In the video, a man driving his brother’s truck drives through town, through fields. He returns the car back to his brother’s wife and child. With too many casualties of war there are loved ones walking among us, missing those men and women. Countless people dealing with grief in the best way they know how. This emotion, also portrayed by the man in the video, is raw and real.
People deal with grief in many ways; and though your story might not be immortalized in an award-winning country song, it’s as every bit as valuable and real. Paul Monti didn’t set out to share his way of grieving with the world. He was just as man, finding a way to grieve for his son. After the song went to number one, a searched ensued for Monti, everyone wanted to know about the inspiration that lead to the song. Now the world knows the story of the number one song, and the sacrifice that inspired it.