Nightly News | August 26, 2013
>>> president obama presented the nation's highest military honor, the medal of honor to an army staff sergeant who displayed extraordinary courage during a fire fight with the taliban in afghanistan. the first time since the vietnam war that two living soldiers from the same battle have been presented with the medal. here's nbc's pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski .
>> reporter: surrounded by soaring cliffs, combat outposts keating in eastern afghanistan was under constant attack. in october 009, the taliban launched the fiercest assault yet. army specialist ty carter was jolted from his sleep.
>> there was something very different. the sound of the gunfire was nonstop.
>> reporter: more than 400 taliban unleashed an avalanche of rocket, mortar and machine gunfire on the 52 americans below.
>> the hills looked like some one kicked over an anthill. carter ran 100 meet ears cross the open battlefield with ammo for fellow soldiers not once but three times, dodging a torrent of bullets on the way.
>> the quicker you are moving the less chance a sniper or bullet will hit you.
>> reporter: carter and his sergeant were wounded and trapped in a humvee.
>> we were very low on ammo. everybody around us who was friendly was wounded or dead.
>> reporter: specialist stephen mace was on the ground seriously wounded crawling towards the humvee pleading for help.
>> that's the first time, i said can i get to mace? i see him he is right there. no, you are no good to him dead.
>> reporter: were you angry? frustrated?
>> i was insane. there is no true pain until you have seen your family members suffer in front of you. that is real hell.
>> reporter: eight americans were killed. 25 wounded. under heavy fire, carter eventually carried mace to safety. but he later died of his wound.
>> when i found out that he had died, i believe that i was a complete failure. not justen combat in the army or in life.
>> even now staff sergeant carter suffers post-traumatic stress. at today's medal of honor ceremony, president obama hailed carter for his efforts to help others struggling with ptsd.
>> look at this man. look at this soldier. look at this warrior. he is as tough as they come.
>> reporter: and a true american hero , on and off the battlefield. jim miklaszewski , nbc news, the pentagon.