As a perfect Memorial Day dedication to a truly brave man, this article is being written about Cpl. William "Kyle" Carpenter, an Afghanistan war veteran who sacrificed his life to protect the life of a fellow Marine. His bravery and sacrifice are the reasons that this war hero will receive the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony on June 19th of 2014. Kyle will be only the eighth living recipient of the ‘Medal’ for heroic actions performed in Afghanistan or Iraq.
No mother ever wants to believe that her 24-year-old son would have to medically retire at such a young age, but then few mothers want to think that their young adult son would be injured on the battlefield such as Cpl. Carpenter was. This soldier’s mother can be proud though that her son protected Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio from a grenade launch.
Details were released that three grenades were launched by enemy forces into a Marine patrol base in a small village in the Helmand Province from a compound across the street. The first injured an Afghan National Army soldier, the second thankfully did not detonate, but the third landed close to Carpenter and Eufrazio. Carpenter, not considering his own safety but that of his fellow soldier, took the brunt of the blast.
For his charitable act, Kyle received a head injury from the shrapnel from the explosion. His skull was depressed, his right lung collapsed, he received multiple facial fractures, the loss of a third of his lower jaw and fragment injuries to both his arms and his legs. Even after brain surgery was performed, they could not save his right eye and had to remove it.
Even after all of this, Carpenter has not given up. He had been treated for many months at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, but he is now a student at the University of South Carolina. He is showing that good works pay off and he is not going to let the setback stop him from achieving future goals.
Many people don’t even consider helping with fundraisers while some military folks go the extra mile and not only save lives but do so my sacrificing their own. Cpl. William "Kyle" Carpenter is one of ‘the few, the proud, the Marines’ that are willing to give their all.
This Memorial Day, try to take just a moment to hail the good works that are performed by soldiers like Carpenter. Although he deserves the best that life has to offer, he is willing to give his all for others. His service and dedication are what keep us free!