By Debbie Gregory.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) continues to haunt returning veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter, a Medal of Honor recipient, wants to help others with PTSD.
Carter is scheduled to receive the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Afghanistan on August 26, 2013 at the White House. Carter, a PTSD sufferer, will attend the ceremony and accept the Medal of Honor for injured and ill soldiers who are coping with the kind of emotional trauma he experienced after the battle at Combat Outpost Keating (COP Keating).
The Battle of Kamdesh took place on October 3, 2009, when a force of 300 Taliban fighters assaulted the American Combat Outpost (“COP”) Keating, near the town of Kamdesh in the Nuristan province in eastern Afghanistan. The attack was the bloodiest battle for US forces since the Battle of Wanat in July 2008, which occurred 20 miles (32 km) away.
The enemy fighters attacked the 54 members of B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, with heavy automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, known as RPGs, firing from high ground surrounding the outpost. The enemy infiltrated two areas of the combat outpost, known as a COP, killing eight U.S. Soldiers and injuring more than 25.
Staff Sgt. Carter showed inspirational bravery four years ago, when he repeatedly risked his life to rescue a wounded comrade and repel a fierce enemy attack in Afghanistan. Carter, who was a specialist at the time, ran a gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammo to fighting positions. He picked off numerous enemies with his sharpshooting, and risked his life to carry an injured soldier to cover, despite his own injuries from RPG rounds.
In his first appearance as a Medal of Honor recipient, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier said Monday that he hopes the honor he receives at the White House next month will motivate soldiers in another way; by persuading them to seek help for the post-traumatic stress that many combat veterans suffer.
Carter’s Medal of Honor notoriety provides a rare megaphone in the military. Now assigned to Lewis-McChord’s 7th Infantry Division, Carter wants to use that notoriety to address the emotional and mental toll that a dozen years of war have taken.
He wants to “get rid of the stigma of post-traumatic stress because there are a lot of soldiers who have it, but and are ashamed to get help.