The true face of post traumatic stress.

(Article by J.D. Leipold of Army News Service, 27 AUG 2013.)

WASHINGTON - Army Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter yesterday became the second soldier to receive the nation’s highest military award for extraordinary gallantry and selfless actions during the Battle of Kamdesh at Combat Outpost Keating, Afghanistan, Oct. 3, 2009.

After telling the story of the ambush, which raged for 13 hours between 53 soldiers and some 300 Taliban fighters, and citing Carter’s complete disregard for his own safety, President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Honor around the 33-year-old cCavalry scout’s neck in the White House’s East Room.

The Keating battle near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan was the first since the Vietnam War in which two living service members received the Medal of Honor for their individual actions in the same battle. Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the battle Feb. 11.

Carter braved merciless enemy fire from rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small-arms by running the 100-meter length of the outpost twice to retrieve ammunition for his fellow soldiers. At the same time, he provided suppressive fire to keep the enemy from over-running the post. Then, with complete disregard for his own safety, and in spite of wounds, he discarded his M-4 rifle and ran to a critically wounded soldier to render life-extending first aid. He carried the soldier to medics as Romesha and his team provided cover.

Eight soldiers died of wounds suffered in the battle, and 25 others were wounded.

Before the citation was read, Obama recalled Carter’s words to him earlier in the day, then asked the soldiers from his unit – the 61st Cavalry Regiment – to stand and be recognized along with the families of the eight fallen soldiers.

“Ty says, ‘This award is not mine alone,’” the president said. “The battle that day, he will say, was 'one team in one fight,’ and everyone 'did what we could do to keep each other alive.’ And some of these men are with us again. And I have to repeat this, because they’re among the most highly decorated units of this entire war: 37 Army Commendation Medals, 27 Purple Hearts, 18 Bronze Stars for their valor, nine Silver Stars for their gallantry.”

Obama took a few minutes to address not only Carter’s courage on the battlefield, but the courage to seek help for what he finally accepted and recognized in himself as post-traumatic stress.

“As Ty knows, part of the healing is facing the sources of the pain,” Obama said. “So now he wants to help other troops in their own recovery. And it is absolutely critical for us to work with brave young men like Ty to put an end to any stigma that keeps more folks from seeking help.

"So let me say it as clearly as I can to any of our troops or veterans who are watching and struggling: Look at this man. Look at this soldier. Look at this warrior,” the president continued. “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. So can you.”

Related Sites:
Army Web Page on Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter

Related Articles:
War Hero Credits Counseling for Continued Improvement

Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House this afternoon. 

As a fellow North Dakotan and a fellow American, I am proud and grateful for his service. 

I’m glad the wars are coming to an end so our heroic service men and women won’t have to be placed in the line of fire and faced with life and death decisions.

President Barack Obama to award the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor, to Army Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha on February 11 for his actions in the Battle of Kamdesh. The Battle has been described as the “Black Hawk Down” in the War in Afghanistan. The four hour long firefight saw 300 Taliban footsoldiers storm an Army outpost that housed 53 Soldiers, leaving 8 KIA. Part of the SSgt’s actions has been described in a book: “Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha led the counterattack to retake the [Ammunition Supply Point]. Once their ammunition supply was secure, the troopers pushed out to clear the compound and take back the main gate. They secured the [Entry Control Point] and barricaded the bridge with plywood, concertina and anything else they could find to insure no one else could get into the [Combat Outpost].”

Front Line GI's Taking Self-Modification Of M4 Rifle To Improve Effectiveness

Front Line GI’s Taking Self-Modification Of M4 Rifle To Improve Effectiveness

Soldiers At War Modify M4 To Boost Reliability


” U.S. Army soldiers at war in Afghanistan have made personal modifications to the M4 carbine to improve its effectiveness, according to a news report.

  Army Senior Warrant Officer Russton Kramer, a longtime Green Beret, said he and fellow Special Forces soldiers buy off-the-shelf triggers and other components and overhaul the M4A1 commando…

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Clinton Romesha will receive Medal of Honor

President Obama announced Friday he will award the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest decoration for valor, to an Army staff sergeant who fought off a Taliban attempt to overrun his combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan.

Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, 31, of Minot, N.D., is scheduled to receive the medal in a ceremony on Feb. 11. Romesha will become the fourth living recipient of the MOH from the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A total of 10 Medals of Honor have been awarded for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The three other living recipients, all of whom served in Afghanistan, are Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, and Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry.

Obama announced the tribute to Romesha’s “heroic service in Afghanistan” during a White House news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The president stressed that Afghan troops will have to shoulder the responsibility for their own security as the U.S. winds down the war.

Romesha’s earned the Medal of Honor for his bravery after Afghan troops fled a firefight at Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Nuristan province while he was serving as a section leader with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Eight U.S. troops were killed and more than 20 others wounded in the assault by the enemy with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machineguns that breached the gates of the post.

The attack, one of the deadliest single-day engagements for U.S. forces in the Afghan war, was the focus of the recent book “The Outpost” by former ABC-TV White House correspondent Jake Tapper. Nine other troops who fought alongside Romesha had already received the Silver Star for their own heroism.

About 50 American, 20 Afghan and two Latvian soldiers, along with about 12 Afghan security guards, found themselves at COP Keating when the pre-dawn attack began. It continued for more than three hours.

Romesha “took out an enemy machine gun team and, while engaging a second, the generator he was using for cover was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, inflicting him with shrapnel wounds,” according to the MOH citation.

Romesha kept fighting. “With complete disregard for his own safety, Romesha continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he moved confidently about the battlefield, engaging and destroying multiple enemy targets, including three Taliban fighters who had breached the combat outpost’s perimeter,” the citation said.

Romesha lives in Minot with his wife and three children. He left the Army in April 2011 after serving for 12 years.


Day 2 of our travels in Cali - we made the trip to the Ronald Reagan Library - this is where I lose all my tolerant and open minded liberal friends - oh well - it was great - we got to see an amazing chunk of the Berlin Wall - walk onto the Air Force One used by 7 presidents from Nixon to W - there was a recreation of the Oval Office - lots of artifacts from when Reagan was a kid to actor to Governor to President to after - there was a terrifying section about the assassination attempt - even exhibits about Iran Contra - it was interesting watching video of Reagan speaking to the American people about Iran Contra - he took full responsibility because it happened on his watch - it was quite the spin but a stark contrast to the way Clinton and Obama have behaved and communicated during their scandals - anyway - the library is on stunning grounds up in the mountains with beautiful views - when we got there a speech was getting ready to start from a recent Medal of Honor recipient - so we went to see it - it was amazing - Clinton Romesha got the medal for his actions during the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan - he told his story - which was horrifying, of course - during his story he said “Sucks Ass” - which was awesome - considering the setting and company - it was quite the experience…

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‘Regular grunt’ Romesha awarded Medal of Honor

One man earned the Medal of Honor for leading a counterattack against an estimated 400 insurgents at a remote combat outpost in the mountains of Afghanistan, but everyone from the soldier himself to President Obama has made sure to acknowledge the group effort it took to defend COP Keating on that day.

Former Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha, 31, became the fourth living Medal of Honor recipient Feb. 11 at the White House, and the next day he was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. The two emotional ceremonies were attended by defense officials and Romesha’s family, as well as his battle buddies and family members of the eight men who lost their lives Oct. 3, 2009.

During Feb. 11’s White House ceremony, Romesha remained seated on stage in a room packed from wall to wall with friends, family and fellow soldiers there to watch the commander in chief present him with the nation’s highest award for valor.

Romesha teared up during descriptions of his effort to keep U.S. casualties out of Taliban hands, and the “buddy transfusions” — blood transfusions in the field — that saved some soldiers’ lives that day.

“A later investigation found that COP Keating was tactically indefensible,” Obama said. “That’s what these soldiers were asked to do: Defend the indefensible.”

Romesha was a section leader in B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during an enemy attack on the COP in Afghanistan’s northeastern Nuristan province, nestled at the bottom of a valley surrounded by the Hindu Kush mountains. The attack left eight American soldiers dead and two dozen others wounded.

Four officers were reprimanded for command failures that a U.S. Central Command investigation found led to Keating’s vulnerability and subsequent attack. Long scheduled for closure because of its dangerous location, the outpost was cleared and destroyed following the battle.

The attack began before 6 a.m. Oct. 3, when the enemy fired recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, machine guns and rifles from all four sides of the COP. During the first three hours of the battle, mortars hit the COP and OP every 15 seconds, and in less than an hour, the enemy swarmed Keating.

“It doesn’t look good,” Romesha said at the time, according to multiple accounts.

He sought out reinforcements from nearby barracks under heavy fire, managing to engage two enemy machine-gun teams. Despite shrapnel wounds from a rocket-propelled grenade attack, he assembled a five-man team to fight back, called in air support and moved 100 meters under enemy fire to recover casualties.

But he didn’t do it alone, Romesha stressed Feb. 12, when he took the stage at the Pentagon to tell the story in his own words.

“Four hundred Taliban versus 52 American soldiers. Just doesn’t seem fair,” Romesha began. “To the Taliban.”

The room erupted in laughter. The somber mood lightened.

“It was our home, and they simply couldn’t have it,” he continued.

“As you know, the Medal of Honor is not often given when things went well on a battlefield,” he said. “Some say I’m a hero, but it doesn’t make sense, because I got to come home, with few scars.”

Romesha, who grew up Lake City, Calif., and enlisted as an armor crewman in 1999, returned to civilian life in 2011 after a deployment to Kosovo, two to Iraq and that one fateful tour in Afghanistan. Today, he works as a field safety specialist for an oil field construction firm in Minot, N.D., where he lives with his wife and three children.

Before he said anything about his actions on Oct. 3, 2009, Romesha read off the names of his fallen battle buddies: Staff Sgt. Justin Gallegos, Sgt. Michael Scusa, Staff Sgt. Vernon Martin, Spc. Stephan Mace, Pfc. Kevin Thomson, Spc. Christopher Griffin, Sgt. Joshua Kirk and Sgt. Joshua Hardt.

“It is on their behalf that I stand before you today, as just a regular grunt, so wonderfully recognized,” he said, before asking his fellow B Troop brothers in arms to stand for another round of applause.


President Obama presents Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha with the Medal of Honor. He and his team get the praise and respect the deserve.

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Romesha Enters Pentagon’s ‘Hall of Heroes’

He was a soldier above all, “just a regular grunt,” and that had been honor enough until the Army and the nation singled him out, said Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, the latest recipient of the Medal of Honor.

“Some say I’m a hero, but that doesn’t make sense because I got to come home,” Romesha said Tuesday. “Eight of my friends didn’t have that good fortune.”

Romesha repeated each one of their names as he spoke at a Pentagon ceremony inducting him into the Defense Department’s “Hall of Heroes” that lists the recipients of the Medal of Honor.

His voice cracked as he recited the names of those who fell in defending Combat Outpost Keating in Nuristan province, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3, 2009:  Sgt. Justin T. Gallegos, Spc. Christopher T. Griffin, Sgt. Joshua M. Hardt, Sgt. Joshua J. Kirk, Spc. Stephen L. Mace, Staff Sgt. Vernon W. Martin, Sgt. Michael P. Scusa, and Pfc. Kevin C. Thomson.

“Those aren’t just names,” Romesha said. They were “some of the best troops” the Army ever had. “And they were my friends.” He gestured to the medal draped round his neck: “I will wear it with dignity in their honor.”

At the White House on Monday, President Obama said that Romesha and his buddies formed an unbeatable “band of brothers” in Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta misspoke briefly at the beginning of his remarks, referring to Romesha and previous recipients as “winners” of the medal. The Medal of Honor Society frowns on use of the term “winning” in discussing the award, as though the battlefield were a sports event.

Panetta recovered quickly, saying that Romesha was emblematic of America’s youth who volunteered to serve after 9/11 to endure “repeated deployments, time and again.” Despite seeing comrades “horribly maimed and, yes, killed,” the troops “day after day, strapped on their armor and went back on patrol.”

“For 10 years, they have fought because they believed America was worth fighting for,” Panetta said.

It was to that community of post-9/11 servicemembers, and to the soldiers of Bravo Troop, that Romesha addressed his remarks.

“To my brothers and sisters in arms,” Romesha started. Combat Outpost Keating, surrounded on three sides by the foothills of Hindu Kush, wasn’t much but it was the place that Bravo Troop “called home,” Romesha said. “It was our home and they simply couldn’t have it,” Romesha said of the Taliban enemy.

There were 52 other Americans in COP Keating and they were up against an estimated 400 enemy, Romesha said. “Just doesn’t seem fair to the Taliban,” Romesha said with a laugh.

In the Pentagon auditorium, Romesha singled out 11 of his comrades who survived the battle. He asked them to “stand, be recognized” and told them: “It is on your behalf I stand before you today as just a regular grunt. Thank you, brothers, thanks for everything. You are the strength of our nation.”

Romesha, 31, has returned to civilian life. He and his wife, Tamara, and their three children now live in Minot, N.D., where he works as a safety specialist in the oil fields. He wore his Army dress uniform for the ceremony.

“In the years to come,” Romesha said, “I just hope and pray that you’ll view me as truly worthy of this reward,” he said of the Medal. “Know this, whether I wear this uniform or civilian clothes, I am, and always will be, a soldier for life.”