There’s something truly touching about a grown man admitting he misses his friend. ‘I Drive Your Truck’ by Lee Brice is an exceptional standpoint. It’s not about missing a woman, but his friend who passed away. Picturing the song, it entails the sadness when a friend leaves an empty space behind. It is a striking situation of someone trying to cope, and it resounds with anyone who has lost someone they are close to.
The story behind this country hit is so heartbreaking that it’s hard for its songwriters to discuss it without getting emotional.
In a 2011 interview with Boston Public Radio, Paul Monti talked about his operation Flags for Vets. It’s a mission to place American flags on the graves of service members on Memorial Day. Paul’s son, Jared Monti, was killed during an extreme firefight with as many as 50 insurgents on Hill 2610, in a remote area of Afghanistan in 2006. Monti tried to reach a severely wounded soldier in a dike of gunfire three times. On his last try, an RPG hit him. Posthumously, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
A songwriter from Nashville, Connie Harrington, was on her way home from work the day of the broadcast. She had been listening to music all day and decided to tune in that time to change the mood. Because of this, she caught Monti’s interview. She heard the part when the reporter asked Paul Monti how he keeps Jared close. To which Paul replied,
“I drive his truck.”
It struck Connie instantly, and she wrote it down on a notepad she had in the car. She soon shared the story with her fellow songwriters, Jessi Alexander and Jimmy Yeary. Undeniably, the song they wrote eventually made it to the top of the country charts.
The Lives That Were Uplifted By the Song
The song is about the absence of Jared, the deep longing for him felt by his father, Paul. It was uplifting, moving the hearts of the Gold Star Families (immediate families of fallen service members) throughout the country, as well as other families that have lost their child.
Cherry Lee Patrick, a mother of one of the four soldiers killed that day on Hill 2610 heard the song and sent it to Paul. She, too, drives her late son’s truck. Both of them didn’t have any idea that Monti was the song’s inspiration.
After Lee Brice recorded it, the song soon hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. The song was so touching to Brice that he cast his brother, Lewis, to be the main actor in the music video.
Listen to the song honoring our fallen men, reminding us that freedom is not free. It is all paid for by the blood of our young men and women.