BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – Country music's top song of 2013 has local ties.
"I Drive Your Truck" was awarded Song of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday.
The song was inspired by a Raynham man whose son died in Afghanistan in 2006. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was killed as he tried to save a fellow soldier in Afghanistan in 2006. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony in 2009.
Paul Monti said he still drives the 2001 Dodge Ram that belonged to his son, complete with his Jared's dog tags and a rosary hanging from the rear-view mirror. The vehicle has 82nd Airborne stickers on the back. Monti says he's replaced the engine and keeps it in good repair, but the inside remains the way his son left it, still carrying his shoes, spare change and a toothbrush.
"It's a place of peace for me," Monti said.
During a radio interview in 2011 Monti was asked how he keeps the memory of his son alive, and he said, "I drive his truck." One of the song's writer's heard the comment and was inspired to write the song.
It wasn't until this year that the songwriters were able to tell Monti that the song was written for him.
"I was somewhat proud but more, I was elated for all of the Gold Star families out there that hold on to something from their child," said Monti.
Monti said hanging on to his Jared's truck is his way of coping with his death.
"It says 'Look world, this is who we are, this is the pain we have, this is the only way we can cope," said Monti.
The song is performed by Lee Brice.
© 2016 Cox Media Group.