"Our troops should never, ever, be put in a position where they have to defend the indefensible. But that's what these soldiers did -- for each other, in sacrifice driven by pure love. And because they did, eight grieving families were at least able to welcome their soldiers home one last time. And more than 40 American soldiers are alive today to carry on, to keep alive the memory of their fallen brothers, to help make sure that this country that we love so much remains strong and free," Obama said.

Soon the president will honor the valor of Carter.

Two Medals of Honor for the same battle is very rare. The award for Ty Carter marks the first time in almost half a century that one battle resulted in two living service members being awarded the highest honor a troop can receive.

Spc. 4th Class Raymond R. Wright and Sgt. Leonard B. Keller received the Medal of Honor for actions during a battle in the Ap Bac Zone in Vietnam on May 2, 1967. President Lyndon Johnson awarded their medals in 1968.

Two service members - Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart and Master Sgt. Gary I. Gordon - who were killed in the "Black Hawk Down" fight in Somalia were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for that battle, which was on October 3, 1993 -- exactly 16 years before the attack on COP Keating.