Carolyn Kruse

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It’s one of those songs, that just hits you and makes you feel for the subject in the story. It’s one of the all- time great country songs. And it’s based on a real life story, and family. Paul Monti from Rayham, Massachusetts is the Gold Star father who inspired Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck.” NECN reported that Paul passed away Friday at age 76, after a battle with lung cancer. May he rest in peace.

After the death of his beloved son, Jared, and following his burial at The National Cemetery in Bourne, Paul started Operation Flags For Vets, It was a way to honor his son, and all those who have served, and it also provided some healing. Every year, volunteers put flags on every grave in advance of Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Back in 2011, Paul was interviewed by NPR, and mentioned that was still driving his son Jared’s old pickup truck. Sgt. Jared Monti died serving our country in Afganistan in 2006. Noted Nashville songwriter Connie Harrington caught the interview and went on to co-write the Lee Brice hit, along with Jessi Alexander and Jimmy Yeary. The song went on to become a #1 hit, and earned all kinds of award nominations, including a Grammy Award. It won the ACM Song of the Year Award in 2014.

Mr. Monti was an earth science teacher at Stoughton High School for many years. His obituary reads, “He was incredibly passionate about teaching his students about the earth and the oceans. One of his highlights each academic year was organizing a deep sea fishing field trip.” “Paul was a super proud Dad who raised his children in Raynham and remained very active in their lives; coaching everything from their soccer to basketball teams.” Our hearts go out to all those lives Paul touched, from his family and friends to students, co-workers, and military families.

 

  • The Song

    Lee Brice’s passionate yet subtle vocal delivery of this powerful and emotional story was the perfect fit.

  • The Story Behind The Song From Paul Monti

    The interview and video courtesy of the Boston Herald on Youtube

  • Lee Brice Remembers Paul On Social Media

    In a touching tribute to Monti, Lee commented on his Instagram: “He was a good man, a man that lived proudly carrying the torch for his son Jared who lost his life in Afghanistan.”

  • Paul Monti Had A Visit With Govenor Charlie Baker Before He Passed

    A story in The Enterprise¬†stated that last week Governor Baker was at Paul’s bedside, after his sister Jean informed his office that Paul was dying.

  • The Medal of Honor

    In 2009, Paul and Janet Monti were presented the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama, on belhalf of their son, on behalf of their son, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Jared Monti.

    Obama Awards Medal Of Honor Posthumously To Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

    WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 17: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the Medal of Honor to Paul and Janet Monti on behalf of their son, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House September 17, 2009 in Washington, DC. Sgt. Monti was killed June 21, 2006 in Afghanistan while attempting to rescue one of his fellow soldiers and fighting off an attack from insurgents. The Medal of Honor is given to a soldier “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Funeral Service and The Family Fund

    The funeral Mass for Paul Monti is today, September 1 at St. Ann’s Church in Raynham. Paul will be buried near his son, Jared at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

    There is a fundraising page for his family set up by Massachusetts Fallen Heroes.

    Money raised will help to cover costs the family has incured over the last few months. 100% of all funds raised by MFH will go directly to the Monti family. You can click HERE to donate to the Paul Monti Family Fund.