A soldier from Antioch will become the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, the White House announced Friday.
President Barack Obama on Aug. 26 will award U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, 33, the nation's highest military honor in recognition of his courage in combat on Oct. 3, 2009, in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.
Carter, then a specialist and cavalry scout with the 61st Cavalry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, risked his life to help his fellow soldiers when Combat Outpost Keating came under attack that day.
Carter repeatedly sprinted across open ground under heavy fire, first to join his fellow soldiers at the outpost's perimeter, then to retrieve gun lubricant and other supplies. Then he went out into the fusillade yet again to aid a wounded comrade and carry him to cover. And then he went out again to get a radio to call for help.
He is the second soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for his conduct in that battle; Obama presented Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha with his medal in February. CNN reports this is the first time in almost half a century that one battle resulted in two living service members receiving this honor.
Carter's father, Mark Carter, of Antioch, said Friday that his son has seemed fearless since boyhood, when he would capture snakes and scorpions during their camping trips. The elder Carter -- a BART electrician -- flew to Colorado in 2009 as his son returned from Afghanistan a few weeks after the firefight. They went to a bar, and over a few pitchers of beer, his son described the mayhem.
"I was in awe, I was in tears, I was laughing with him," said Carter, 55. "Half the stuff that he told me then never hit the news -- very scary, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping."
On Friday, his voice choked with emotion as he discussed this highest of military honors. "I can't even talk about that, I'm a softy and I've got tears just thinking about it right now."
Ty Carter grew up in Spokane, Wash., but now calls Antioch home; he's married to Shannon Carter and they have three children, Jayden Young, Madison Carter and Sehara Carter. His family is expected to join him at the White House for next month's ceremony.
He originally enlisted in the Marines in 1998, and was honorably discharged in 2002. Carter then attended Los Medanos College in Pittsburg before enlisting in the Army in January 2008 as a cavalry scout; after training at Fort Knox, Ky., he served in Afghanistan from mid-2009 to mid-2010 and completed a second tour there in October 2012.
He now is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., assigned to the 7th Infantry Division.