Medal of Honor Recipient Joins Pentagon Hall of Heroes
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2013 Defense Department leaders turned out here today to honor Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter, who received the nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony yesterday.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter led today’s induction ceremony, which formally added the staff sergeant’s name to the list of Medal of Honor recipients featured at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. Army Undersecretary Joseph W. Westphal and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Campbell also spoke at the ceremony.
On Oct. 3, 2009, the 53 defenders of Combat Outpost Keating, located in the remote areas of eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, woke to some 300 enemy attackers raining down incoming rifle, rocket-propelled grenade, machine-gun and mortar fire from the high ground surrounding the outpost.
Sergeant Carter, assigned that day to support the camp’s guard posts, repeatedly braved withering fire, sprinting again and again over open ground to keep defenders supplied with ammunition, and to aid and evacuate a badly wounded friend and fellow soldier.
“His bold actions that day are emblematic not just of the decisions of fellow soldiers in his unit, but of a generation … of soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen that have distinguished themselves during 12 hard years of persistent conflict,” the deputy defense secretary said.
Deputy Secretary Carter said regardless of whether or how they have served, Americans see their own highest aspirations reflected in actions like the staff sergeant’s -- and by firefighters rushing into burning skyscrapers, teachers protecting children from gunfire, or rescue swimmers braving dark waters to aid others in danger.
“His actions are the deeds and spirit, in that sense, of thousands of common men and women capable of uncommon valor in the most extraordinary and unexpected circumstances,” he said. “In so many ways, the Medal of Honor Sergeant Carter received represents not just the best of him, but the best of all of us -- all that we hope to be.”
The nation will preserve the hard-earned lessons it has learned over a decade of war, he said, and adapt them for a future in which global threats grow less predictable and more dangerous.
“Amidst these challenges, Sergeant Carter’s induction as a Medal of Honor recipient is a reminder of the strength and endurance, not just of our fighting men and women, but of our national spirit,” Deputy Secretary Carter said. “Ours will always be a country that runs toward the sound of danger, in order to preserve the ideals that we cherish.”
The deputy secretary noted that the staff sergeant, who has spoken publicly about his own struggles with post-traumatic stress, now has another chance to serve the nation -- out of combat.
“You’re joining a prestigious fellowship of warriors, who have exhibited the utmost courage and bravery in battle,” the deputy secretary said to Carter. “With this opportunity comes an opportunity: to continue to inspire not just your brothers and sisters in the military, but the country as a whole.”
The nation counted on Sergeant Carter at COP Keating, the deputy secretary said, “and now we count on you to remind Americans of the best that we all can be. … I have no doubt that your courageous acts in Afghanistan are only the beginning of your service to this country.”