20 June 2014

An American Hero: Retired Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter | RallyPoint.com

Image Copyright: Cpl. Michael Guinto/ Marine Corps

Kyle Carpenter is an American hero who saved the lives of his fellow soldiers while serving in Afghanistan.  He was manning a rooftop post in the Marjah District of Helmand Province on November 21, 2010 when he and his unit began to take sporadic rifle and mortar fire.  He was serving with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines manning Patrol Base Dakota in close proximity to insurgent territory.

While returning fire, a grenade landed on the roof of the compound, giving Carpenter and his fellow soldiers almost no time to react.  In the middle of the firefight, Carpenter moved towards the live grenade and presumably covered it with his body to shield his buddies from the blast.  Although Carpenter cannot recall exactly what happened in the seconds before the blast, his fellow troops as well as the Ordinance Disposal team confirmed the blast pattern was consistent with it happening underneath him.

Carpenter survived the blast, although he suffered major injuries including the loss of most of his jaw, a shattered right arm, his eye, and severe shrapnel damage.  Another soldier suffered grave brain injuries from the blast.  

The soldiers in Carpenter’s unit praised him as one of the most loyal and kind individuals they had ever met.

Carpenter has become an inspiration to many, competing in marathons, snowboarding, and other endurance sports, even after 30 surgeries.  He received the Medal of Honor yesterday, fours years after he suffered the injuries.  Carpenter is only the second living Marine to receive the award since the global War on Terror began.

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