WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday awarded Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military citation, making him the fifth living veteran of the Afghanistan or Iraq conflicts to be awarded the medal for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
At a White House ceremony attended by family and fellow soldiers, Obama commended Carter for being “a loving husband, a devoted father and an exemplary soldier.”
“If you want to know what a true American hero looks like, then you don’t have to look too far,” Obama said to Carter’s children. “Your dad inspires us, just like all of those big monuments and memorials do.”
Carter received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Oct. 3, 2009, when an isolated combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan was attacked by hundreds of militants. During the 12-hour battle, in which eight soldiers were killed and 25 were injured, Carter risked his life to resupply ammunition and save a wounded soldier who was trapped under fire.
“I promise the mothers, fathers and spouses of my fallen brothers that I will strive to live up to the responsibility that this medal brings,” he said in a statement after the ceremony. “But I’m eager to represent the thousands who suffer from the invisible wounds of war.”
Since his citation was announced in July, Carter has spoken openly of struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, which many veterans develop after violent experiences in combat. Carter urged the American public to learn more about troops who suffer from the disorder.
“Know that they are not damaged, they are simply burdened with living with what others do not,” he said. “We are resilient and will emerge stronger over time.”