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Obama awards Medal of Honor to Afghan war veteran, calls him 'essence of true heroism'

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter today, saluting the veteran of the war in Afghanistan as “the essence of true heroism.”

Carter risked his life to save an injured soldier and to resupply ammunition to his comrades during intense fighting in a remote mountain outpost four years ago.

“As these soldiers and families will tell you, they’re a family forged in battle, and loss, and love,” Obama said as Carter stood at his side and members of his unit watched in the White House East Room.

The Oct. 3, 2009, battle occurred while Carter was stationed at Command Outpost Keating. U.S. troops were vastly outnumbered by 400 Taliban fighters.

In February, Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on another survivor of that firefight, former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha.

It was the first time since the Vietnam War that two survivors of the same battle were presented with the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor.

Eight soldiers died in the battle. Carter killed Afghan fighters, rendered first aid and saved a soldier’s life.

“It was chaos — a blizzard of bullets and steel into which Ty ran not once or twice or even a few times, but perhaps 10 times, and in doing so, he displayed the essence of true heroism: Not the urge to surpass all others at whatever costs, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost,” Obama said.

Carter still suffers post-traumatic stress syndrome and Obama credited him for acknowledging his struggle publicly and for helping other troops with their recovery.

“Let me say it as clearly as I can to any of our troops or veterans who are watching and struggling,” Obama said. “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.”

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