Aug. 27, 2013 -- Under Secretary Westphal's remarks for Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Ty M
August 28, 2013
Well, good afternoon everybody. Ty how you doing?
It's great to be with you here today. My battle buddy, Vice (Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. John Campbell), great job, good words. Medal of Honor recipients, thanks for being here. You honor us by your presence. We are deeply grateful for all you have done and continue to do for our country.
So, you've seen him on TV a little bit, but I want to take just a couple of minutes to more formally introduce him to you. Shannon, Jayden, Madison, and Sehara, can you all stand up so they can see you? She has been the perfect baby. I'm telling you, she's awesome, and two other people I'd like to stand up and introduce you to them -- his dad Mark, and his mother Paula. And I separated the sister out -- Amber, she needs to get a little special attention. And we know there's a lot of family members who came from all over -- a lot of uncles and aunts, cousins -- and, we thank you for being here today.
As the Vice said, through Ty and his act of gallantry, we also honor the bravery and valor and call of duty of those who gave their last measure of devotion and service to their country. On October 3rd, 2009, at Combat Outpost Keating, eight men lost their lives. They are with us today in thought and prayer.
Staff Sgt. Justin Gallegos; I believe his former wife, friend and son Amanda and MacAiden are here today. Can you stand up if you are here. Sgt. Joshua Kirk; his widow Megan and daughter Kensington, and mother Bernadette, are you here today? Sgt. Michael Scusa; his mother Cynthia and his brother John, are you here today? Sgt. Christian Griffin, his mother Carrie, Carrie are you here today? Spc. Stephan Mace; his mother Vanessa, his father Larry, his brother Bradley and his stepfather Richard, are you all here today? Staff Sgt. Vernon Martin, Sgt. Joshua Hardt, and Pfc. Kevin Thomson's families could not be here with us today, but we extend to them our thanks, and let them know they are in our thoughts and prayers as well.
Private Edwin Faulkner's mother and father, Sharon and Edwin Faulkner, are here today. The Vice mentioned Private Faulkner. Private Faulkner's death from substance abuse scars us all His struggle with post-traumatic stress shows us all too well how those wounds take their toll on our Soldiers. No words or deeds are sufficient, or will ever be sufficient, to measure up to the sacrifices of your loved ones, and we are honored by your presence today.
For Ty Carter on that day in October when things appeared their very darkest, his thought on his family and his daughter in particular, were going through his mind. This impulse to think of your family in a Soldier's most trying moments, becomes one of the certain things worth fighting for. There may be many reasons for joining the Army, but ultimately, on that battlefield, you serve to protect your country and your family. It was why Sergeant Carter joined the Army, to find an honorable life of meaning for himself and for his daughter. It was why Captain Ben Keating, whose name is forever linked with the battle of October 3rd, 2009, wrote to his father that his commitment to family was what compelled him to serve.
There's another definition of family; that has meaning to men and women who have served in the Army and dangerous places far away. That is the instant brotherhood that is found in shared hardship.
In his great work about Soldiers in World War II, Stephen Ambrose, wrote about how Soldiers came together from all walks of life and from all parts of America to train and go to war. He writes, "the result of these shared experiences was a closeness unknown to all outsiders. Comrades are closer than friends, closer than brothers, their trust and knowledge of each other is total. Men are true comrades only when each is ready to give up his life for the other without reflection or without the thought of personal loss."
Ty, you and Bravo Troop stand on the shoulders of those Soldiers Ambrose wrote about. Those Soldiers were Easy Company, 506 Parachute Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, who fought in World War II. You also stand on the shoulders of countless others who fought in that war, in Korea, in Vietnam, and our current conflicts. Their sacrifice and patriotism lives in your DNA. Future Soldiers will have to stand on your shoulders and we know they will stand strong and victorious.
In your words, Sergeant Carter, and I got this from one of your video tapes, "the Army and the pleasure and pride to serve and protect my loved ones, my family and my friends, is one of the greatest feelings that I have ever had, and I will maintain as long as they let me live." So Ty, you have a sense of purpose now that will drive you to help others who have suffered the wounds of war. It takes the same courage that you showed on that day of battle to seek ways to heal. Leadership, loyalty, (and) character are abundant in you. The love and companionship of your family will strengthen and heal you. Your fellow Soldiers will need you, and you will need them. Like those men here today wearing the Medal of Honor, you will be part of a band of brothers that continues to inspire us all.
God bless you Sergeant Ty Carter.