Ty Michael Carter was born in Spokane, Wash., in January 1980. At 18, to avoid collegiate studies, Carter joined the Marine Corps, attending the Marine Corps Combat Engineer School. He served in Okinawa, Japan, as an intelligence clerk. Showing impressive marksmanship skills, Carter went to Primary Marksmanship Instructor School in 1999. Prior to being honorably discharged in 2002, he served two training deployments: one in San Clemente Island and another in Egypt.
Carter then enrolled in Los Medanos Community College in California to study biology. But he missed the camaraderie and sense of purpose that the military provided. In January 2008, Carter enlisted in the Army and then deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. He deployed to Afghanistan again in 2012. This second deployment would change the course of his life, leading to Aug. 26, 2013, when he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama for his actions in battle.
Mental health advocate
After leaving the Army in 2014, Carter turned his attention to fighting the stigma associated with PTSD. He has championed for the removal of the ‘D’ from PTSD, encouraging those who deal with mental health issues to get help.
Carter was motivated by the idea of using his experiences to help others. He was impressed by how the military began acknowledging PTS as a combat wound and treating it as a life-threatening injury.
“Because by calling it a disorder, individuals believe that ‘If I have this, then there’s something wrong with me,’” Carter said. “With PTS, you just had a bad experience and you’re trying to learn from it and trying to reintegrate how you live your life with it, because that trauma will never go away.”
Carter now travels the country as a motivational speaker, focusing on mental health education. He is also a full-time student, studying firearms science and technology.
Thank you for your service, Ty Michael Carter!
Editor: Michelle Cannon
Graphics: Kimber Garland