The World Sees a Hero, I See My Dad

The world knows him as Staff Sergeant Ty Michael Carter, a worldwide hero and Medal of Honor recipient. In my eyes, my father is a man that has dedicated his life to raising me despite many obstacles. 

Madison and her dad at a Raiders game while she was in middle school.

Believe it or not, my dad hates being called a hero. He believes that he is not a hero because all that he did was what everyone else did or would have done in his position. He just happened to get more recognition for it.

When I was little, my dad had to leave to fight in battle, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant. When it was time for my dad to leave, he made me a promise that if he made it out alive, he would move close to me so we could see each other more often. He has always been a man of his word, and that is something I will always admire about my dad.

Madison and her dad celebrating Thanksgiving 2019 in Washington.  

 Many people see my dad in front of cameras, dressed in a suit with the medal on, but that’s not who he really is. My dad is actually very laid back, and he likes his space and solitude. He lives in Bastrop, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, on a large plot of land. He likes to be prepared for anything and everything and is always learning, building, or creating things. He’s a resourceful man whose hobbies include: hunting various animals and bee-keeping, which he uses in one of his other hobbies, liquor brewing. 

Madison and her dad’s bees in the summer of 2019.

My dad is a very intelligent man. I can ask him anything, and he will almost always have an answer or advice to give me. When we see each other, we enjoy watching movies together, so we almost always find ourselves at the movie theater. 

While we have great moments like that with one another, just like any other parent and child, our relationship isn’t perfect. It’s always been hard having divorced parents and having to go back and forth between the two of them. I know my dad really tries to bond with me, but it can be difficult sometimes because of our very different lives and interests. 

Madison and her dad at the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

As a little girl, when I was with my dad, he would always tuck me into bed and sing me “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” I remember a specific time when I was getting tucked in that I was scared because it was dark. I started asking my dad about monsters, and I asked if they were gonna come and get us. He then told me, “There is no such thing as monsters- only really bad people.” This has always stuck with me, and it may seem like a very blunt thing to say to a child, but that’s just how my dad is. My dad has a soft side that most don’t see, and, if I’m being honest, I’ve only seen it a few times, myself. 

Madison and her dad on her 13th birthday. 

Despite that, I’ve learned so much from my dad. He has taught me to be independent, he has taught me to be aware of my surroundings, and he has taught me to know that the world can be an evil place. Most importantly, he has taught me that no matter how far apart we are, he will always love me and sacrifice anything for the ones he loves. 


What you just read was written during my sophomore year of high school. I am now a senior, and there have been many changes in my life and my relationship with my dad. Part of the change in our relationship is because of my dad’s best friend, a man we call Thorin, who has become a large part of my dad’s life and has helped contribute to his happiness. Thorin runs an event called the Sherwood Forest Faire which is a renaissance festival, also known as ren faire. Because ren faire is such a large part of Thorin’s life, he introduced it to my dad. My dad ended up loving it, and now attends whenever he can. 

Madison’s dad in his ren faire garb from last weekend.

Like I said, previously, my dad and I have struggled to bond because our interests are so different. My dad suggested I attend a ren faire with him because he wanted me to experience it, too. I didn’t think I’d like it by the sound of what it was, but I was pleasantly surprised. When my dad and I went we had so much fun, and I told him I genuinely enjoyed it and the new people I met there. He seemed very thrilled that I enjoyed something as much as he did.  Ren faire has now become a part of my life, and I go with him whenever I can. It may just be an event to some, but it has become the reason I feel closer to my dad. 

Madison, her dad, and his girlfriend during a past ren faire.