Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter talks to reporters July 29 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He will become the fifth living military service member to receive a Medal of Honor from the Afghanistan-Iraq era. The ceremony is set today. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
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An Army staff sergeant will receive the nation’s highest combat valor award today for risking his life to save another soldier during a fierce battle four years ago in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Ty Carter will be presented with the Medal of Honor by President Obama during a ceremony this afternoon at the White House. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the East Room.
As a scout assigned to B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Carter braved enemy fire to treat and carry a fellow soldier to safety during the October 2009 fight for Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Nuristan province. Spc. Stephan Mace, the soldier Carter carried, later succumbed to his wounds.
Carter’s troop-mate during the battle, former Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha, received the Medal of Honor earlier this year. They were part of a small American force at COP Keating when an enemy force estimated to number more than 300 attacked the outpost intent on overrunning the outnumbered U.S. forces. Eight Americans were killed and about two dozen others were wounded, but the soldiers fended off the enemy.
Carter is the 12th service member to receive the Medal of Honor in as many years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps out of high school, serving as a combat engineer and, later, a marksmanship instructor. He was busted down in rank for fighting, according to journalist Jake Tapper’s book “The Outpost,” and left the Corps in 2002 as a lance corporal.
Carter worked a series of odd jobs over the next five years before rejoining the military as a soldier.