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Obama Says Medal of Honor Given to ‘True American Hero’

Army Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter & U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, left, is presented with the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the White House in Washington, D.C. on August 26, 2013. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama awarded the nation’s highest military award to an Army veteran for bravery during an attack by Taliban fighters at a remote U.S. Army outpost in Afghanistan.

Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, 33, was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry during a ceremony today in the East Room of the White House. He is the fifth soldier to earn the decoration for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He’s also the second soldier to get the award as a result of actions from that single battle.

“If you want to know what a true American hero looks like, then you don’t have to look too far. You just have to look at your Dad,” Obama said, directing his remarks to Carter’s children, who were among 40 family members in the audience. “Your Dad inspires us just like all those big memorials and monuments do.”

Carter’s is “the story of what our troops do for each other,” he said.

Carter, ignoring enemy gunfire, engaged in one of the deadliest battles waged by U.S. forces in Afghanistan when about 300 Taliban fighters attacked an Army combat outpost in Nuristan Province, a remote, mountainous region in the eastern part of the country on Oct. 3, 2009.

Carter resupplied ammunition to fighting positions, provided first-aid to a battle buddy, killed enemy troops, and valiantly risked his own life to save an injured soldier while being pinned down in a Humvee by a barrage of enemy fire, according to the Army’s official account.

Six-Hour Fight

Carter “did all this while under heavy small arms and indirect fire that lasted more than six hours,” the account said.

Of 53 members of the Army post, eight soldiers were killed and more than 25 were injured, according to the Army’s narrative. In February, the president awarded the Medal of Honor to another survivor of that firefight, former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha.

Carter has been treated successfully for post-traumatic stress disorder. “You begin to accept what happened, and when these flashbacks come, you’re okay with it,” he said in an Army profile.

Obama said Carter stands as an example for other combat veterans who need help dealing with the stress of combat. “Now he wants to help other troops in their own recovery,” Obama said. “Nobody should ever suffer alone.”

The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the military who distinguish themselves by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in armed conflict.

Carter is currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State and is assigned to the 7th Infantry Division.

He grew up in Spokane, Washington, and considers Antioch, California, outside San Francisco, as his home town. He’s is married to Shannon Carter and they have three children.

To contact the reporters on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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