McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Community News Network

June 19, 2014

Afghanistan vet who ran to grenade gets Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON — A former Marine Corps corporal who was severely wounded when he risked his life to shield a squad mate from a grenade blast in Afghanistan was awarded the nation's highest military decoration Thursday.

William "Kyle" Carpenter, 24, is the eighth living recipient of the Medal of Honor who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. He received the award from President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House.

"Kyle is a shining example of what our country needs to encourage," Obama said.

Carpenter, now a student at the University of South Carolina, was medically retired from the service in July due to his injuries. He was at a rooftop observation post for a patrol base in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in November 2010 when it was attacked by Taliban fighters.

During the attack, a grenade landed where he and another lance corporal were in position, according to a Marine Corps account. Carpenter ran toward it, trying to shield the other Marine from the blast. When it detonated, Carpenter's body absorbed most of the explosion, shattering his jaw and other bones, taking his right eye and collapsing a lung.

 "They found Kyle lying face down. His helmet was riddled with holes. His gear was melted," Obama said. "He sensed the end was coming."

Carpenter spent five weeks in a coma and endured almost 40 surgeries.

"His total disregard for his own personal safety distinguishes his conduct above and beyond the call of duty in the face of certain death," the Marine Corps' citation says.

The fellow Marine who Carpenter saved was also grievously injured and couldn't speak for a year. He is recovering at home in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after treatment at the military medical center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he met Obama.

In May, Obama gave the Medal of Honor to Kyle J. White, a former Army sergeant turned investment analyst who fought off attackers when his unit was ambushed in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province on Nov. 9, 2007.

In March, Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 U.S. Army veterans for their valor in World War II, Korea or Vietnam. The recipients - only three of whom were still living - had been passed over for the honor because of their race, ethnicity or religion. They were the single largest group of service members to receive the Medal of Honor since World War II.

Obama presented the medal as he grapples with how the United States should respond to extremists seizing territory from the central government in Iraq. The president has said the only option he isn't considering is sending ground combat troops.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
NDN Video
CDC Director Warns Of A World Where Antibiotics No Longer Work Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.