The True Story That Inspired The Country Song Of The Year “I Drive Your Truck” Will Break Your Heart

A father keeps the memory of his dead son alive with quiet drives in an old pick-up.

1. Wednesday night, Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck” won Song Of The Year at the Country Music Awards.

Harrison Mcclary / Reuters
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2. Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary, the writers behind the song, revealed that it’s actually based on a real life story.

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3. This is Medal Of Honor receipient Jared C. Monti, who died in Afghanistan saving a fellow soldier.

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4. Jared was killed during a firefight in 2006. He was hit by an RPG attempting to rescue a severely wounded soldier who was pinned down.

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5. Jared’s father, Paul Monti, received the Medal Of Honor for Jared at a White House ceremony in 2009.

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6. Lee Brice’s songwriters heard an interview with Paul about his son on NPR’s Here And Now in 2011.

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7. When the host asked Paul how he kept Jared’s memory alive, he said, “I drive his truck.”

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8. The day after the song was recognized at the CMAs, Paul clarified to local reporters that it’s not about the truck. It’s about a private moment with the memory of his son.

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9. The 2001 Dodge Ram, with its rusted bumpers and banged up fenders, still has Jared’s dog tags hanging from the rear-view mirror.

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10. Paul hasn’t cleaned out the back of the truck, either. Riding around with him are his son’s shoes and a few handwritten notes, just like it was the day Jared left.

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11. Here’s the video that was inspired by Paul’s moving story:

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