A Spokane soldier will be awarded the Medal of Honor next month for battlefield bravery in Afghanistan in October 2009.
Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter, 33, was born in Spokane, moved away with his family as toddler, and then returned to Spokane where he graduated from North Central High School in 1998.
Carter is the second Medal of Honor recipient to have graduated from North Central. The first was Bruce Alan Grandstaff, who received an award posthumously for his service in Vietnam.
Carter enlisted in the Marines and served for 14 years. He then enlisted in the Army in 2008 and by 2009 he was deployed for Afghanistan.
On Oct. 3, 2009, Carter displayed what the Army described as gallantry as he resupplied ammunition to fighting positions when enemy forces attempted to overrun his outpost in the Battle of Kamdesh. He provided first aid to a battlefield friend, killed enemy troops and risked his own life to save a fellow soldier who had been injured and pinned down by enemy gunfire. The episode lasted more than six hours.
Carter recounted the battle in an interview with The Spokesman-Review in December 2011, shortly after he was honored at the USO Armed Forces Gala & Gold Medal dinner in New York.
“On a day when everything goes wrong, I was able to do a few stupid things that made a difference to a lot of people,” he said in 2011.
The nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor has only been awarded to seven servicemen for their actions in the war in Afghanistan. Carter will become the fifth living recipient of the award for actions in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
“Carter’s actions of risking his life above and beyond the call of duty, while engaged in combat against the enemies of the United States, were heroic,” according to an official Army narrative released as part of the Medal of Honor announcement.
Carter and his family will visit the White House on Aug. 26 to receive the Medal from President Barack Obama. He is married with three children and lives in Washington where he is stationed as a staff noncommissioned officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Grandstaff received his award from President Richard Nixon in 1972. According to his official citation, Grandstaff called in an artillery strike on his own position in order to wipe out enemy combatants. A monument stands to Grandstaff at Greenwood Memorial Terrace and the VA hospital was recently renamed in part for him.