1. Wednesday night, Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck” won Song Of The Year at the Country Music Awards.
Harrison Mcclary / Reuters
2. Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary, the writers behind the song, revealed that it’s actually based on a real life story.
3. This is Medal Of Honor receipient Jared C. Monti, who died in Afghanistan saving a fellow soldier.
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.
5. Jared’s father, Paul Monti, received the Medal Of Honor for Jared at a White House ceremony in 2009.
6. Lee Brice’s songwriters heard an interview with Paul about his son on NPR’s Here And Now in 2011.
7. When the host asked Paul how he kept Jared’s memory alive, he said, “I drive his truck.”
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.
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.
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.
11. Here’s the video that was inspired by Paul’s moving story:
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