William Kyle Carpenter, a 24-year-old Marine Corps veteran, will be presented later this year with the nation's highest valor award, a Medal of Honor
. Cpl Carpenter was serving overseas when, on November 21st, 2010, he was on a rooftop in Afghanistan's province of Helmand where a grenade came onto the roof to endanger both him and his fellow Marine, Lance Cpl Nicholas Eufrazio. Cpl Carpenter then covered the grenade to protect his friend from the blast and in turn saved both of their lives.
Both men suffered immensely, with Cpl Carpenter losing his right eye, most of his teeth, shattering his jaw and splintering his arm; Lance Cpl Eufrazio sustained damage to the frontal lobe of his brain from the shrapnel, inhibiting his speech until late 2012. It was Cpl Carpenter's immense bravery that undoubtedly saved both of their lives, according to many of the troops who served with the men. While no other Marines witnessed the incident--complicating the circumstances of what happened--Hospitalman 3rd Class Christopher Friend can attest to the validity of the story. Friend was the medic who treated both of the Marines involved in the blast and said the injuries sustained and surrounding physical evidence show Cpl Carpenter absorbed the grenade.
Cpl Carpenter will become the 3rd Marine Corps recipient of the Medal of Honor from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since they began in October 2001. The statute of limitations for the Department of Navy Medal of Honor awards runs out after three years, and thankfully this amazing and heroic man can receive the award he deserves before the statute ends. The Marine Corps' only other Medal of Honor recipient from the wars was Cpl Jason Dunham
, a man who was posthumously awarded for smothering a grenade in Iraq back in April 2004.
The Medal of Honor ceremony isn't typically announced until roughly a month before it happens, but we can all look forward to that day when Cpl Carpenter is awarded for serving our country so selflessly.
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