The Medal of Honor: Ty Carter's double valor
Spc. Ty M. Carter's extraordinary valor in Afghanistan would be worthy of America's highest military honor in any war of any era. That he's open about suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and wants to help others affected by it is another form of valor, one that makes his Medal of Honor especially fitting for today's wars — and valuable for today's military personnel.
On Monday, President Obama presented the medal to Mr. Carter, 33, of Washington state. He earned it for his actions on Oct. 3, 2009, when he was among U.S. forces outnumbered about 6-to-1 by more than 300 Afghan insurgents who attacked a remote outpost so vulnerable that the Pentagon later said it never should have been established.
Dodging heavy enemy fire for more than six hours, Carter carried ammunition to comrades, recovered a field radio, provided first aid, killed insurgent attackers and was wounded.
Yet he also rescued a badly injured comrade who later died in a field hospital. Carter blamed himself for that soldier's death — and has struggled with PTSD ever since.
Openness about PTSD counters the warrior stoicism that leaves too many sufferers ashamed, isolated and leery of seeking help. That makes Ty Carter a hero of both combat and its aftermath — one whose Medal of Honor signifies courage not just under fire but also in confronting the real yet invisible wounds that so many of today's returning soldiers still deal with long after their battles end.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.