Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) recently spoke on the House floor to honor the life of the late Staff Sergeant Robert E. Carter of Hattiesburg. Palazzo’s office successfully worked with the Department of the Army’s Award and Decorations Branch to gain approval for Ssgt. Carter to receive the Purple Heart Medal. In January of 2020, Palazzo presented SSgt. Carter with a Purple Heart Medal during a quaint ceremony at the Congressman’s Hattiesburg office.
You can read the remarks by Palazzo below or click here to watch.
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the legacy and the outstanding life of service of Purple Heart Recipient, Staff Sergeant Robert E. Carter.
He was born September 2, 1986, in San Luis Obispo, California, to Rick and Linda Carter. Staff Sergeant Carter attended Rio Vista High School and San Joaquin Delta College as a firefighter for a degree in Fire Science. He was also in the process of completing his Bachelor of Science in Public Health at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Staff Sergeant Carter joined the United States Army on April 25, 2007, and attended training at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he graduated as an 11Bravo Infantryman.
Staff Sergeant Carter’s first deployment was in 2007 to Baghdad under the Dagger Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His second deployment was from November 2008 to November 2009 for Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Rifle Team leader and Platoon designated marksman in charge of Small Denial Team’s counteroffensive for IEDs. It was during this deployment on April 5, 2009, that he sustained injuries from an IED explosion while conducting dismounted clearance of a hostile village in Balad Ruz, Iraq.
His final deployment was in July 2011 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this deployment, he created and implemented the Afghanistan National Army’s Sniper course. His last assignment before retirement was to serve as a Sniper Observer Course Trainer.
A few of Staff Sergeant Carter’s awards and decorations included the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Valorous Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, Expert Infantryman’s Badge and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He earned each of these accolades and will be remembered for his unwavering service to his country.
Staff Sergeant Carter was laid to rest on October 19, 2020 at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. He is survived by his fiancé Erica Farmer. Staff Sergeant Carter was a beloved son, brother, and friend to all that knew him. He accomplished more in just his 34 years on this earth than most do in a lifetime.
I had the pleasure of meeting with and presenting Staff Sergeant Carter with his Purple Heart Award on January 24, 2020. He was a true American hero, motivated by the love of his fellow men. We are all indebted to the sacrifices he made through his unwavering commitment to boldly defending our country. It is an honor to recognize Staff Sergeant Robert E. Carter’s life and legacy of service.