***UPDATE: Obama apologized for his mistake***
And it wasn’t just any soldier, but to one he awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously:
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 is, Jared Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, September 17, 2009. President Obama handed the framed medal to his parents, Paul and Janet Monti. He and the First Lady comforted them in the Oval Office following the ceremony.
What makes this even worse is what he said later in his speech:
Now, the 10th Mountain and the 1st Brigade, you guys have sacrificed mightily. I know that you got 11 fallen soldiers just out of this group right here, and I think about 270 all told since 9/11.
We will never forget their sacrifice. And the reason that I know many of you continue to do the outstanding work that you do is not only love of country but it’s also love for each other, and your commitment to making sure that those sacrifices were not in vain.
CBN asked the White House for comment on the gaffe. Turns out the President didn’t have prepared remarks on his Teleprompter:
I contacted the White House to see what happened. I’m told the President didn’t have prepared remarks.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “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.”
If you ask me that’s a dozy of a gaffe. GateWayPundit found the video:
At 6:15 is when he makes the second half of the remark I noted.
UDPATE: Jared Monti’s father posted this on his facebook page:
“FYI – President Barack Obama telephoned me personally this afternoon to apologize for his error in his speech to the 10th mountain division re: Jared’s medal ceremony. Apology accepted”