Military News

Second of three Medal of Honor recipients at JBLM leaves uniform

A Medal of Honor recipient who used his national renown to urge soldiers to get help for post-traumatic stress has separated from the Army, Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 7th Infantry Division announced on Friday.

Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter, 34, chose to end his enlistment and pursue his life as a civilian, according to a spokesman for the division.

The division held a ceremony for Carter at JBLM on Friday, presenting him with end-of-service awards. The soldier chose to keep the event private.

Carter received the Medal of Honor in August 2013 for the bravery he showed in an October 2009 battle in which a force of some 300 Afghan insurgents almost overwhelmed his unit at at combat outpost in Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province. Eight U.S. soldiers died in the fighting.

During that battle, Carter served with the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo. He returned to Afghanistan in 2012 as a soldier in JBLM’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Since he received the medal, Carter has been a visible advocate for soldiers in the South Sound and around the country. On Friday morning, he gave the keynote address at the Race for a Soldier breakfast in Gig Harbor.

Carter often gave speeches and interviews in which he encouraged people to drop the “d” from “PTSD.” It was his way of saying post-traumatic stress is a normal response to combat, not a disorder.

For much of the past year, JBLM was home to all three soldiers who chose to stay in the Army after receiving the Medal of Honor for their actions in Afghanistan.

One was Master Sergeant Leroy Petry of JBLM’s 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who retired from the Army in July. The other is Capt. William Swenson, who re-commissioned in the Army after receiving the medal last year. He serves in JBLM’s I Corps.

Carter grew up in Spokane and in the San Francisco Bay Area. He settled in Yelm with his wife and their three children.