WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS News/AP/BCN) — President Barack Obama bestowed the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, on an Antioch soldier 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.
Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter risked his life to save an injured soldier, resupply ammunition to his comrades and render first aid during intense fighting in a remote mountain outpost four years ago. The Battle of Combat Outpost Keating — seen in a video shot by the Taliban as they fired down on the isolated base — was probably the most desperate battle of the Afghan War.
“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.
Then as an Army specialist, Carter sprinted from his barracks into a ferocious firefight, a day-long battle on Oct. 3, 2009, that killed eight of his fellow soldiers, and wounded more than 20 others, as they tried to defend their outpost — at the bottom of a valley and surrounded by high mountains — from the onslaught of a much larger force of Taliban and local fighters.
- Raw Video: President Obama Awards Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter Medal Of Honor
- Photo Gallery: Sgt. Ty Carter Awarded Medal Of Honor
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.