President Obama awarded U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter the Medal of Honor on Monday for his heroics in a 2009 battle, where he and 53 American troops fought back against some 300 Taliban fighters in a valley of the Afghanistan mountains.
Carter became the second soldier to be awarded the highest military commendation for his courageous action in the battle.
Carter also became the fifth living U.S. service member of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to receive the honor.
Obama said, “The outpost was being slammed from every direction. Machine gun fire, rocket-propelled grenades, mortar, sniper fire, it was chaos. The blizzard of bullets and steel into which Ty ran not once or twice, or even a few times, but perhaps 10 times. In doing so, he displayed the essence of true heroism.”
Carter ran a gauntlet of heavy machine gun and sniper fire — carrying ammo, recovering a field radio, cradling a wounded comrade in his arms — sometimes zigzagging to dodge exploding rocket-propelled grenades or mortar rounds.
Surrounded by dead Americans and running low on ammunition, Carter and another soldier shot and killed enemy fighters breaching the walls.
Obama also thanked Carter for speaking out about his battles with post-traumatic stress, and noted that Carter had urged him to remember another soldier, Ed Faulkner Jr., who fought alongside him that day and later died of a drug overdose.
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