SSG Carter reviews T2 mobile apps with Dr. Kinn. Photo by Clare Parfitt.
On Friday, October 25, 2013, T2 welcomed a very special guest: Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Carter. Carter is the first and only Medal of Honor recipient to have visited our offices. It’s not every day that you get to meet a true hero, much less get his opinion on some of our products and developments.
Before we tell you a little about his visit, here’s a little background about him and the actions that earned him the U.S. military’s highest honor:
Ty Michael Carter was born in 1980 in Spokane, Wash., where he graduated from North Central High School in 1998. After high school, Carter enlisted in the Marine Corps and attended Combat Engineer School. With the Marines he served two short training deployments, one to San Clemente Island, Calif., and the other to Egypt for Operation Bright Star, before being honorably discharged in Oct., 2002. After some college studies, his first daughter’s birth, and time traveling the United States, Carter realized he was destined for further service in the military. On Jan. 3, 2008, Carter enlisted in the U.S. Army where he attended the Cavalry Scout Basic Training Course at Fort Knox, Ky. In April 2008, he was sent to Fort Carson, CO to join 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
In May of 2009, Carter deployed for 12 months to Nuristan Province, Afghanistan during which time he “distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy on October 3, 2009.”
On that morning, Carter's heroic actions and tactical skill were critical to the defense of Combat Outpost Keating, preventing the enemy from capturing the position, and saving the lives of his fellow Soldiers. His extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty earned him the Medal of Honor.
On the day of the visit, T2 Executive Director Gregory Gahm was there to greet Staff Sgt. Carter in the T2 Holodeck conference room. After that, he got a chance to listen to some of our psychologists for about two hours as they explained what we do, and the products and services we have for PTSD and mTBI. Dr. Greg Reger started off by explaining T2’s role as a center of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and he also talked a little about Virtual PTSD Experience (in Second Life). Drs. Pam Murphy and Julie Kinn, who work in our Mobile Health Program, shared T2 Web and mobile resources for the military community, such as our new Military Parenting website and our mobile apps like T2 Mood Tracker and Breathe2Relax. He also took a tour around our Technology Enhancement Center, which is basically T2’s very own UX, or usability, lab.
When asked for his feedback, Carter was not shy. In his address to the entire T2 staff, he spoke eloquently about and in great support of our mission and the need to expand access to our products to get them in the hands of more service members. He also talked about the acronym PTSD and stated that, in his opinion, dropping the “D” (disorder) from PTSD would allow more soldiers to come forward and seek out the help they may require.
We invited Staff Sgt. Carter back to T2 any time to learn more about what we continue to do in the battle against “PTS” and behavioral health care stigma. His presence at T2 is a testament to the importance of our work, and it was an honor to get his insights and his first-hand knowledge about the needs of our service members. Thanks, Staff Sgt. Carter.