WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A former North Central student met with President Obama at the White House on Monday to receive the Medal of Honor.The White House ceremony happened at 11:20 a.m. pacific time.
President Barack Obama bestowed the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, on Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter on Monday, saluting the veteran of the war in Afghanistan as "the essence of true heroism," one still engaged in a battle against the lingering emotional fallout of war.
Staff Sergeant Ty Carter grew up in Spokane and received the award for courageous actions during combat operations in Afghanistan in October 2009. Now he is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
Still suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, Carter stood nearly emotionless during the ceremony, although a faint smile crossed his face near the end that turned into a broad grin as Obama hung the metal and its blue ribbon around his neck and the audience; which included 40 members of the recipient's family; answered with a rousing standing ovation.
Carter is the fifth living recipient to be awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. The Army said that Carter worked with limited ammunition and communication and risked his life to save others.
Obama praised Carter for talking openly about the disorder for some time. Obama said that Carter, like many veterans, "at first resisted seeking help," but later accepted counseling.
"The pain of that day ... may never go away," Obama said, including flash-backs and nightmares. But he praised Carter for seeking help and pushing back, and for acknowledging his struggle publicly and 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."
He has many other awards, including the Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal.
Carter said he hopes to work with soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, something he still struggles with. He wants other soldiers to know they can seek help, because it worked for him.