Obama: Medal of Honor Recipient Carter a ‘True American Hero’
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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — President Barack Obama presented Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony on Monday afternoon.
Carter was recognized for resupplying ammunition to American fighters, rendering first aid and risking his own life to save an injured soldier pinned down by enemy fire. At the time of the battle, Carter was a specialist assigned to the Black Knight Troop of the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Carson.
The ceremony, which began with a prayer, also involved a brief speech from Obama on Carter’s action in the Battle of Kamdesh, during which Carter was said to have run through conditions such as “bullets coming down like rain” to make sure that his fellow soldiers were properly armed, protected and treated.
“As these soldiers and families will tell you, they’re a family forged in battle, and loss, and love,” Obama said as Carter stood at his side and members of his unit watched in the White House East Room.
The Oct. 3, 2009, battle occurred while Carter was stationed at Command Outpost Keating. U.S. troops were vastly outnumbered by 400 Taliban fighters.
In February, Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on another survivor of that firefight, former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha.
It was the first time since the Vietnam War that two survivors of the same battle were presented with the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor.
Eight soldiers died in the battle. Carter killed Afghan fighters, rendered first aid and saved a soldier’s life.
“It was chaos — a blizzard of bullets and steel into which Ty ran not once or twice or even a few times, but perhaps 10 times, and in doing so, he displayed the essence of true heroism: Not the urge to surpass all others at whatever costs, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost,” Obama said.
Carter still suffers post-traumatic stress syndrome and Obama credited him for acknowledging his struggle publicly and for helping other troops with their recovery.
“Let me say it as clearly as I can to any of our troops or veterans who are watching and struggling,” Obama said. “Look at this man. Look at this soldier. Look at this warrior. He’s as tough as they come, and if he can find the courage and the strength to not only seek help but also to speak out about it, to take care of himself and to stay strong, then so can you.”
Carter is the fifth living veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the honor.
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