Second COP Keating hero receives Medal of Honor
August 28, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Staff Sgt. Ty Carter humbly stood as President Barack Obama placed the Medal of Honor around his neck, during a ceremony Aug. 26, at the White House.
Carter is the fifth living servicemember to receive the medal for service in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned the Medal of Honor for his actions Oct. 3, 2009, while a member of Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, at Combat Outpost Keating, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.
As dawn broke, the 53 Soldiers that manned COP Keating were attacked by more than 300 Taliban Fighters attempting to overrun the isolated outpost.
During the battle, the perimeter of COP Keating was breached by the enemy. Carter, who was injured during the fight, ran through the hailstorm of bullets to resupply an isolated position twice, voluntarily stayed to help defend it, provided first aid to a severely wounded Soldier, and helped reclaim the COP that would later be declared "tactically indefensible."
"This is a historic day; for the first time in nearly half a century, since the Vietnam War, we have been able to present the Medal of Honor to two survivors of the same battle," Obama said.
"When we paid tribute to Clint Romesha earlier this year, we recalled how he and his team provided the cover that allowed three wounded Americans pinned down in a Humvee to make their escape," the president said. "The medal we present today, to Ty Carter, is the story of what happened in that Humvee. It is the story of what our troops do for each other."
The president said that when the Carter Family came to Washington, Ty Carter was hoping to take his children around, to show them the sights and the history of the U.S.
"But Jayden and Madison, if you want to know what makes our country truly great, if you want to know what a true American hero looks like, then you don't have to look too far. You just have to look at your dad, because today he is the sight that we came to see."
Carter feels that the award wasn't just for him, that it was a team effort to keep everyone alive that day, Obama said. Carter is going to use the award to bring attention to Soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, something he said he has been coping with since that day at COP Keating.
Obama said that Carter's unit is one of the most decorated of this war. From that battle, Soldiers earned 37 Army Commendation Medals, 27 Purple Hearts, 18 Bronze Stars, nine Silver Stars and two Medals of Honor.
Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the battle to keep COP Keating are Staff Sgt. Justin Gallegos, Staff Sgt. Vernon Martin, Sgt. Christopher Griffin, Sgt. Joshua Hardt, Sgt. Joshua Kirk, Sgt. Michael Scusa, Spc. Stephan Mace and Pfc. Kevin Thomson.
"God bless you, Ty Carter, and the Soldiers of the 'Black Knight' Troop," Obama said. "God bless you, all our men and women in uniform. God bless the United States of America."
Carter was inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes in a ceremony Aug. 27.