Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter received the Medal of Honor this afternoon, a fitting tribute to a man who repeatedly braved enemy fire in Afghanistan while defending Combat Outpost Keating from a fierce Taliban attack in 2009.
Before serving in the Army, however, Carter served as a Marine — and overcame a significant family tragedy.
According to Carter’s hometown newspaper in Spokane, Wash., the newest Medal of Honor recipient’s brother was killed by a drunken friend playing with a shotgun at a party in 2000. Carter was a 20-year-old Marine serving in Okinawa, Japan, at the time:
The brothers grew up together in Spokane, but they took different paths into adulthood, said their father, Mark Carter.
Ty preferred the discipline of sports, leading him to join the Marines after he graduated from North Central High School. He became an excellent marksman. Seth, meanwhile, struggled to find his place in life before he died at age 22.
He fell in with the wrong crowd, said his dad. “He didn’t get his chance.”
After Ty’s plane touched down, he connected with his family and went to see Seth’s remains.
“He didn’t even get out of his military duds,” Mark Carter said. “He and we all went together to the morgue to identify Seth. All of us broke down at the same time.”
As reported previously, Carter left the Marine Corps in 2002, after getting busted down a rank to lance corporal for fighting with another Marine. He eventually decided to give the military another try, joining the Army in 2008.
It looks like that has worked out for him well. Congratulations, Staff Sgt. Carter.