Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter was officially presented with the Medal of Honor on Monday for his heroics during the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, and while his actions earned him praise from the military community, he hopes he can help shine the spotlight on post-traumatic stress disorder. In the nearly four years since the battle, which killed eight American troops, he has been a vocal spokesman for removing the stigma associated with seeking treatment, something that's likely to continue now that he has received the Army's highest honor, Stars and Stripes reports.

Feelings of guilt
Carter was recognized largely because he braved heavy enemy fire over and over again to help provide much needed supplies and ammunition to his fellow soldiers. He also risked his life to attempt to save the life of Spc. Stephan Mace, who was seriously wounded. Although he took Mace out of harms way, he eventually died on the operating table, and his death was something Carter had trouble coping with. In the years since then, he has had to overcome PTSD, and during the ceremony honoring Carter, President Barack Obama made sure to praise his efforts to bring the condition to the forefront.

"Look at this soldier," Obama told the crowd. "Look at this warrior. 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."

Speaking out at the right time
By helping spur the conversation about PTSD, Carter has made a push at the right time. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 30 percent of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD symptoms, and as operations wind down in Afghanistan – with withdrawal still slated for 2014 – many of these veterans will be entering the civilian population. 

The Department of Defense has made an effort to broaden the scope of its PTSD programs, most notably in the recently opened National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. There, servicemember​s can take part in an intensive four-week program meant to treat both PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.