I hope you all don't mind - we're going to take another quick break from the Hollywood Heroes series and honor our country's newest Medal of Honor Recipient. Thank God for men like him!
William Kyle Carpenter (born October 17, 1989), also known as Kyle Carpenter, is a (medically) retired United States Marine who received the United States' highest military honor, the Medal of Honor for his actions in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2010.
Carpenter was the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient at the time he received it.
Carpenter was born in Jackson, Mississippi on October 17, 1989. He enlisted in the Marine Corps delayed entry program in February 2009, and completed Recruit Training in July 2009 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.
Since his discharge, Carpenter has enrolled as a full-time student at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, where he has a 3.9 GPA and is a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He modestly describes himself as a normal college kid that has been through a lot and is just trying to live life to the fullest and figure everything out.
After completing his initial training at the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, Private First Class Carpenter was assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team One, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 21 November, 2010, where he served as a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner from September 2009 to November 2010.
In July 2010, Corporal Carpenter deployed to Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On November 21, 2010, while joining his
team to fight off a Taliban attack in a small village the Marines had nicknamed Shadier between two villages nicknamed Shady and Shadiest, Carpenter suffered severe injuries to his face and right arm from the blast of an enemy hand grenade; after-action reports state that he threw himself in front of the grenade to protect a fellow Marine.
Carpenter's former battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Fullwood, told Marine Corps Times in a story published in January 2012 that the Corps was still investigating what happened the day Carpenter and Eufrazio were injured.
"The actions that happened on that roof are definitely a matter of interest," Fullwood said. "We've never, from that day until now, stopped trying to uncover what took place, whether it be for reasons of identifying someone who deserves to be recognized with an award or to understand more about the events that unfolded."
In March 2011, the South Carolina legislature passed a resolution recognizing Carpenter's service, noting that he "suffered catastrophic wounds in the cause of freedom" and "has shown himself worthy of the name Marine."
As a patient then attached to Wounded Warrior Battalion East, Bethesda, Maryland on Thursday, November 10, 2011, he participated in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the dedication of the newly integrated Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with then United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
On June 19, 2014, Corporal Carpenter received the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in the White House in Washington, D.C.
Corporal Carpenter was the eighth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Carpenter served as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). In July 2013, he was medically retired as a Corporal due to his wounds. Carpenter is credited with attempting to shield a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, from a grenade blast on a rooftop security post in combat operations near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on November 21, 2010. Both Marines survived the blast but suffered major injuries.
Medal of Honor Citation
The President of the United States of America in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
LANCE CORPORAL WILLIAM KYLE CARPENTER UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 21 November 2010. Lance Corporal Carpenter was a member of a platoon-sized coalition force, comprised of two reinforced Marine rifle squads partnered with an Afghan National Army squad. The platoon had established Patrol Base Dakota two days earlier in a small village in the Marjah District in order to disrupt enemy activity and provide security for the local Afghan population. Lance Corporal Carpenter and a fellow Marine were manning a rooftop security position on the perimeter of Patrol Base Dakota when the enemy initiated a daylight attack with hand grenades, one of which landed inside their sandbagged position. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him, but saving the life of his fellow Marine. By his undaunted courage, bold fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death, Lance Corporal Carpenter reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.