Valor, what defines it? It is the Medal of Honor wrapped around the neck? Could it be simply standing in front of the world and speaking of a subject that is perceived as military myth?
Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter may know, above all, the meanings of valor.
CREDIT: Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Standing in the East Room of the White House in August of 2013 he was draped in the military’s highest honor by the President, who said,
“For this is a historic day — the first time in nearly half a century, since the Vietnam War, that we’ve been able to present the Medal of Honor to two survivors of the same battle. Indeed, 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 Medal we present today, the soldier that we honor — Ty Carter — is the story of what happened in that Humvee. It’s the story of what our troops do for each other.”
Learn more about what Staff Sergeant Carter experienced here.
Command Outpost Keating in Afghanistan was the perfect ambush location. The valley post was surrounded by 3 steep mountains and received daily gun fire from surrounding enemy combatants. But October 3, 2009 was different, as Carter puts it,
“It was as if somebody kicked an ant hill. The bullets, the rockets, the mortars, everything, a wall of spikes — they’re pointing at you.”
You can listen to his words about that day and his battles after.
This uncommon valor against such circumstances with no thought of personal well-being embodies the best of those serving.
Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter and his family, son Jayden, wife Shannon, daughter Sehara, and daughter Madison in a family photo taken on their farm in Yelm, Wash., July, 2013. CREDIT: U.S. Army
But what Staff Sergeant Ty Carter SAID while in the spotlight was just as courageous. Again with no thought of self-service, but only to serve his family and others like his was the open and honest candor about his battle with Post Traumatic Stress and admission of needing help.
President Obama also spoke to this saying,
“So let me say it as clearly as I can to any of our troops or veterans who are watching and struggling: 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.”
Valor comes in action, but also in acceptance. Ty Carter served against all odds and then chose to accept service in a fight that he could not handle alone.
If there are veterans whom, like Ty Carter, live with Post Traumatic Stress, we welcome you to visit the American Veterans Tribute to learn more of our mission to educate and help to improve lives.