The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

August 26, 2013

Afghan war vet receives Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama bestowed the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, on Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter on Monday, saluting the veteran of the war in Afghanistan as “the essence of true heroism,” one still engaged in a battle against the lingering emotional fallout of war.

Carter risked his life to save an injured soldier, resupply ammunition to his comrades and render first aid during intense fighting in a remote mountain outpost four years ago.

“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.

Then as an Army specialist, Carter sprinted from his barracks into a ferocious firefight, a day-long battle on Oct. 3, 2009, that killed eight of his fellow soldiers as they tried to defend their outpost — at the bottom of a valley and surrounded by high mountains — from the onslaught of a much larger force of Taliban and local fighters.

Still suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, Carter stood nearly emotionless during the ceremony, although a faint smile crossed his face near the end that turned into a broad grin as Obama hung the metal and its blue ribbon around his neck and the audience — which included 40 members of the recipient’s family — answered with a rousing standing ovation.

Later, Carter told reporters outside the White House that receiving the medal had been “one of the greatest experiences” for his family and that he would “strive to live up to the responsibility.”

He also said he wanted to help the American public to better understand the “invisible wounds” still inflicting him and thousands of others.

“Only those closest to me can see the scars,” Carter said, reading his statement. He said Americans should realize that those suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome “are not damaged, they are just burdened by living when others are not.”

Obama praised Carter for talking openly about the disorder for some time.  Obama said that Carter, like many veterans, “at first resisted seeking help,” but later accepted counseling.

“The pain of that day ... may never go away,” Obama said, including flash-backs and nightmares. But he praised Carter for seeking help and pushing back, and for acknowledging his struggle publicly and 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.”

The battle, one of the fiercest of the war in Afghanistan, occurred while Carter was stationed at Command Outpost Keating in the eastern part of the country. The roughly 53 U.S. troops at the outpost were at first overpowered by 300 or more Taliban fighters. But despite overwhelming numerical odds and “blizzards of bullets and steel,” Carter and his fellow soldiers “pushed the enemy back. The soldiers retook their camp.”

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 living soldiers of the same battle were presented with the Medal of Honor.

Carter, 33, is a former Marine who later enlisted in the Army and is currently assigned to the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

He grew up in Spokane, Wash., and also has received a Purple Heart and many other military medals.

1
Text Only
National and world
  • Economic Recovery web.jpg U.S. economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

    • Inflation is under control. Runaway price increases would be destructive. Low inflation can lay a foundation for growth.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast web.jpg Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

    A Palestinian health official put the death toll at 695 and said more than 4,100 were wounded, with civilian casualties rising sharply since Israel sent tanks and troops into Gaza last week in its first ground operation in five years.
    Israel has not offered its own count, but Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said Wednesday that 210 Gaza militants were killed since the ground operation began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oil Train Fires web.jpg Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

    Accident investigators have complained for decades that older tank cars, known as DOT-111s, are too easily punctured or ruptured, spilling their contents when derailed. Since 2008, there have been 10 significant derailments in the U.S. and Canada in which crude oil has spilled from ruptured tank cars, often igniting and resulting in huge fireballs. The worst was a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic a year ago, killing 47 people.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taiwan Plane Crash web.jpg Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead

    Penghu in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China late Wednesday, authorities said. The plane was on a flight from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Execution web.jpg Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Flights Canceled Israel web.jpg Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health overhaul web.jpg Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

    But the split rulings don’t necessarily mean another trip to the Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia web.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Tuesday night’s primary runoff win validates Perdue’s campaign as an outsider.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ODD Brooklyn Bridge M_Hass.jpg Police probing switch of flags on Brooklyn Bridge

    Video footage of the security breach shows the unidentified people walking on the bridge's footpath at about 3:10 a.m., and 20 minutes later the light on the bridge's Brooklyn tower flickers and goes dark. The same thing happens about 12 minutes later on the Manhattan tower.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veterans Health_Hass.jpg Obama nominee McDonald pledges to ‘transform’ VA

    Robert McDonald cited problems with patient access to health care, transparency, accountability and integrity, among other issues, during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee over his nomination today.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

Featured Ads