It might have seemed like all hell had broken loose when SSgt Ty Carter stepped from his barracks on October 3, 2009. Little did he know his unit would be involved in a serious fire fight with Taliban fighters on that day.
When the battle erupted, Carter was serving with the Black Knight Troop of the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment from Fort Carson, Colo. The battle happened at a combat outpost named Keating in the Kamdesh district, Nuristan province, Afghanistan.
Fox News reports what Carter said about the scene from that day when he stepped from his barracks:
Concrete, sand, everything was spitting back at me because of the rounds coming in. I stepped back and got a running start (Fox News).
Stars and Stripes said Carter, “emerged from his barracks and sprinted 100 yards across open ground, under heavy fire, to join his fellow soldiers at the southern perimeter.” The account also says, “Carter again ran through enemy fire to retrieve gun lubricant and other supplies for soldiers firing at their attackers.”
In 2001, coalition forces ejected the Taliban from the Kamdesh Valley. The Stars and Stripes reported there hadn’t been an attack of the magnitude and intensity, in the valley, that happened on October 3, 2009.
The unit Carter was serving with came under heavy attack by about 400 enemy fighters. The battle claimed eight of Carter’s fellow soldiers and wounded 25. He was wounded by shrapnel, suffering hearing loss and a concussion.
During the chaos of the battle, Carter is reported to have risked his own life rescuing a wounded soldier from danger. Though the fighting was intense Carter managed to pull Spc. Stephan L. Mace, out of danger as bullets are flying all around him. Sgt. Bradley Larson provided the covering fire during the rescue.
With their ammo dwindling, Carter knew he had to find a radio to call for back-up. Once more he risked his life and managed to find a radio, while Larson provided covering fire. Carter managed to get to a radio of a fallen soldier and call for help.
According to the Stars and Stripes report, “after 12 hours of intense fighting a quick-element arrived linking up with the men at Keating.”
The heroic actions of Larson and Carter saved the day. Larson was awarded the Silver Star for his contributions to the battle of COP Keating. Carter will receive the Medal of Honor, for conspicuous gallantry, on August 26.
Carter will be the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan.
In a press conference on Monday July 28, Carter said:
This award is not mine alone. I am grateful for the service of all the soldiers I fought with that day.
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