Marine Corps veteran William Kyle Carpenter will become the Marine’s third Medal of Honor recipient since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps Times writes, citing unnamed officials.
Carpenter, a medically retired corporal who’s 24 now, has been praised publicly since reports emerged that he risked his own life to save his friend.
Hope Hodge Seck, of the Marine Corps Times, reports:
Carpenter’s Medal of Honor nomination stems from reports that, as a 21-year-old lance corporal, he intentionally covered a grenade to save the life of his friend, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio on Nov. 21, 2010, as the two Marines were standing guard on a rooftop in the Marjah district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Both men survived the blast, but were badly wounded.
Carpenter — whose Medal of Honor has not been officially announced — had serious injuries, including the loss of his right eye, the blowing out of his right ear drum, a fractured nose, and destruction of his lower jaw and cheek bones. Carpenter’s face is marked by shrapnel scars from the grenade’s explosion.
Lance Corporal Eufrazio was rendered unable to speak until late 2012 due to his own injuries.
Carpenter has made amazing strides in recovery since 2010. He’s now able to participate in activities that many would have found impossible given his injuries, including doing pull-ups after having his right arm broken in more than 30 places.
Carpenter’s story of friendship, sacrifice, and recovery has turned him into an Internet celebrity. Currently, his Facebook page Operation Kyle, which documented his road to recovery, has over 13,000 likes.
Speaking to the Marine Corps Times, Carpenter said “I’m still here and kicking and, you know, I have all my limbs so you’ll never hear me complain.”
Carpenter was previously honored in his native South Carolina in the form of a resolution that thanked him for his heroism.