Video: Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter awarded the Medal of Honor

Every time we get the chance to honor one of these extraordinary heroes while they’re still with us, we should treasure it:Carter is only the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor since Vietnam:

Carter, 33, appeared reflective and at times smiled bashfully as Obama recognized him for his “conspicuous gallantry” in the dramatic Battle of Kamdesh, a day-long firefight with Taliban militants at a remote Afghan outpost near the Pakistan border.

Early in his remarks in the White House’s East Room, Obama turned to Carter’s young children and said: “If you want to know what a true American hero looks like, then you don’t have to look too far.”

The quick-moving staff sergeant braved a blizzard of bullets to take out Taliban fighters and rescue a wounded brother-in-arms during the Oct. 3, 2009, clash, which left eight American soldiers dead and wounded more than 25 others, according to the Army’s official account of the event. It was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in the war effort that year.

“Without regard to his own safety, Spc. Ty Michael Carter proved himself time and time again,” according to the Army account.

“He resupplied ammunition to fighting positions, provided first aid to a battle buddy, killed enemy troops, and valiantly risked his own life to save a fellow soldier who was injured and pinned down by overwhelming fire” after Taliban militants slammed Combat Outpost Keating with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, mortars and rifles, according to the Army.

The official Army account is here.

As with all of these guys, Carter is incredibly impressive. Here he is telling the story of this firefight and paying tribute to those who were lost that day:

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(And, in case you’re wondering why I’ve been slacking off lately on the blog, it’s because I had a baby! I’ll be around this week trying to pitch in, but it may not be regular for a while.)