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JBLM Medal of Honor recipients

On Monday, July 29, 2013, the White House announced President Barack Obama would award the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, to Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter for his heroic actions in a battle in Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009.

Carter becomes only the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor.

The ceremony will take place at the White House on Aug. 26.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama recognized a soldier’s struggles on and off the battlefield Monday when he presented the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, a native of Spokane who is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter receives Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House Monday. (Photo: CNN)

Carter received the top combat valor medal for demonstrating “the urge to serve others at whatever cost” when his combat station in Afghanistan came under attack, Obama said.

The October 2009 assault on Combat Outpost Keating by some 300 Taliban fighters left eight Americans dead, many wounded and “almost everyone was left with deep invisible wounds to their hearts and to their minds,” Carter said after the White House ceremony.

“Only those closest to me can see the scars that come from seeing good men take their last breath,” he said.

A second soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha, in February was presented with the Medal of Honor for his role in that battle. Two living soldiers have not been presented the medal for the same battle in nearly 50 years.

Now, Carter is an advocate for other veterans suffering from the invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Obama recounted Carter’s acts of bravery, then said it is “absolutely critical for us to work with brave young men like Ty to put an end to any stigma that keeps more folks from seeking help.”

The president noted the “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.”

Carter planned to show his family around the Washington, D.C., monuments, Obama said. But “if you want to know what makes our country truly great, if you want to know what a true American hero looks like,” he told Carter’s young children at the ceremony, “you don’t have to look too far. You just have to look at your dad because today he’s the sight we’ve come to see.”

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD –A Spokane native will be awarded the single most prestigious award that can be given in the military Monday:  The Medal of Honor.

tycarter2Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter will receive the medal for “conspicuous gallantry.”   He will be recognized for his courage while serving as a cavalry scout in Afghanistan in 2009.

He is only the fifth living recipient to be granted this honor, for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  His fellow soldiers were under heavy fire from all sides when Carter sprinted 100 yards across open ground to join them. He ran through enemy fire again, carrying a wounded comrade to safety. Then, once more, he ran through a hail of bullets to retrieve a radio and call for help.

President Obama will present the medal in a ceremony Monday afternoon.

Carter is married with three children, and is currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD — Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, bestowed the nation’s highest military award,  spoke Monday about the battle in which he risked his life to try to save his band of brothers.

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Army Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter provides watch on a road near Dahla Dam, Afghanistan, July 2012. (U.S. Army)

It was Oct. 3, 2009, when 400 insurgents attacked Combat Outpost Keating in the mountainous Nuristan province of Afghanistan.

Just 53 U.S. troops were at that post when gunfire started around 6 a.m.

“When I came out through the door of my barracks, concrete and sand was spinning back at me because of the rounds coming in. It looked like raindrops all over the ground. The more impacts I saw, the faster I ran,” Carter said at a JBLM news conference.

The White House officially announced Monday that Carter, 33, will receive the Medal of Honor from President Obama in a White House ceremony set for Aug. 26. He will be only the fifth living recipient of the nation’s highest military honor.

At JBLM later Monday, Carter said he had been running ammunition to troops when a sniper pinned down him and four others in a Humvee.  In the distance, he saw a comrade, Spc. Stefen Mace, wounded and lying trapped in open ground.

“I saw Mace crawling on his elbows, dragging his legs. I asked Sgt. Larson if I could get to him and he told me no. It’s very painful to see a good man suffer and then not be able to go to him when you know you can save him,” Carter said.

As the firefight intensified, Carter knew he had to do something.  He asked his fellow sergeant to cover him and ran to Mace, picked him up and carried him back to the safety of the Humvee.

Then Carter braved the bullets again, and ran back to get a radio to call for help.

Mace did not survive his wounds and was one of eight killed in action that day.

Carter’s wife, Shannon Carter, said her husband has had a hard time coping with that.

“It’s scary. It was very overwhelming to hear what they all experienced that day.  I could never wrap my mind around it and the severity of what they went through and what they had to do,” Shannon Carter said, adding that she is incredibly proud of her husband.

Carter, however, is still trying to come to terms with earning this prestigious award.

“I don’t want to put down the Medal of Honor or what it means, but when you’ve lost family, it doesn’t faze you.  It’s not what you’re thinking about,” Carter said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, at the time of the battle, Carter was serving as a cavalry scout with the 4th Infantry Division’s Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

He is now with the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He completed a second deployment to Afghanistan in October.

Born in Spokane, Carter’s family moved to the San Francisco Bay area when he was barely a year old. Although his family moved back to Spokane a decade later, Carter continues to list Antioch, Calif., in Contra Costa County, north of San Francisco, as his hometown.

Carter served in the Marine Corps from 1998 to 2002, including assignments in Egypt and San Clemente Island. After receiving an honorable discharge, he studied biology at Los Medanos Community College in Pittsburg, Calif., also in Contra Costa County.

In 2008, he enlisted in the Army. He and his wife have three children.

tycarter2JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD– JBLM is holding at press conference at 10:30 a.m. Monday for Staff Sgt. Ty Carter. Carter becomes the second soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor — the military’s highest honor for bravery — during a battle in Afghanistan.

Carter grew up in Spokane and is assigned to the 7th Infantry Division at JBLM. Both he and former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romeshay helped save lives while defending Outpost Keating, back in 2009.

As many as 400 insurgents assaulted the base that housed just 53 U.S. troopers. Eight soldiers died in that attack.

Romeshay received the Medal of Honor earlier this year. Carter and his family will joint President Obama at the White House for a ceremony on August 26. Carter will then become the fifth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????WASHINGTON – A former Californian was awarded the nation’s highest military honor on Monday for his efforts against a 2009 Taliban attack on his Afghanistan outpost that U.S. officials have described as tactically indefensible.

Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, 31, received the Medal of Honor from President Obama during a nationally televised ceremony Monday. Romesha is the fourth living recipient who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. Seven others who fought in those conflicts have received the medal posthumously.

Romesha grew up in Lake City in Northern California, near the Oregon border, and now lives in Minot, N.D., with his wife and three children, all of whom attended Monday’s ceremony. Obama joked how Romesha’s youngest child had run around the Oval Office, sampling apples.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

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