This man above is William Kyle Carpenter but better known as Kyle Carpenter. He was 19 years old when he enlisted in the Marine Corps delayed entry program. He got the rank of Lance Corporal at the age of 21 in July 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan.
#12 The Day That Changed Everything
November 21st is a day that Carpenter would never forget. Nor will his fellow marine Lance Corporal Nick Eufrazio. For that was the day Carpenter showed immense courage by jumping onto a live enemy grenade to protect Eufrazio.
Eufrazio suffered some serious injuries never the less. He had a traumatic brain injury because of which his skull had to be rebuilt and his frontal lobe was damaged. Doctors believed he would never speak gain, yet two years later, Eufrazio is now talking.
#10 But Carpenter’s injuries were much more extensive
The explosion left Carpenter with broken bones in his face, a missing right eye, damage to his right arm, shrapnel wounds, a depressed skull fracture that required brain surgery, a collapsed right lung, and the loss of a third of his lower jaw.
#9 Came Back
“My body was torn apart by an enemy hand grenade… upon arriving at Camp Bastion, I was labeled P.E.A. – patient expired on arrival. I flat-lined at Walter Reed. The enemy killed me. I came back.”
The path to recovery wasn’t an easy one. Two and a half years and 40 surgeries later, Carpenter was on his way to recovery.
#7 Purple Heart Medal
He was given the Purple Heart Medal, “awarded to members of the armed forces who are wounded by an instrument of war at the hands of the enemy.” He also received the highest military honor in the USA.
#6 No Complaints
“I’m still here and kicking and, you know, I have all my limbs so you’ll never hear me complain.”
But no medals or honors can ever truly justify the sacrifice Carpenter was willing to make. Not for his sake but for that of others.
#4 Second chance at life
Carpenter says he’s just got started on his road to recovery. It’s been five years since the incident and Carpenter was given a second chance at life and he isn’t letting any of it go to waste. He’s run marathons in honor of fellow veterans, who have sacrificed their life so that others could live. He’s gone skydiving and spends quality time with friends and family.
Carpenter retired as Corporal because of his wounds and has enrolled in school at the University of South Carolina for International Studies. Carpenter says he’s transformed since the incident, physically as well as personally. After being so close to death, he values every experience and moment in life.
Carpenter has become an advocate for wounded servicemen and women, as well as a motivational speaker.
Carpenter makes sure to value life and live every minute to its fullest.