This is a story that I will not soon forget. It is just too incredible.
William Kyle Carpenter (everybody calls him Kyle) enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 19 in a delayed entry program. As a Lance Corporal at age 21, he was deployed to Afghanistan.
While he was deployed, he didn’t hesitate to jump on a live enemy grenade to save the life of his friend, Nick Eufrazio, a fellow Lance Corporal. The courage he showed would cost him a lot, but amazingly, the cost was not his life or limbs.
Nick suffered a traumatic brain injury during the explosion, sustaining massive injuries to his frontal lobe that took his ability to speak. Doctors had to rebuild his skull and told him that he would most likely never speak again. 2 years later, he proved them all wrong and regained the ability by some miracle.
William, however, did not fair as well as his friend. The explosion took his right eye and a third of his lower jar. It damaged his right arm, and collapsed his right lung. His skull was fractured, many bones in his face were broken, and he required brain surgery. The shrapnel wounds covered his body. He should have died, but somehow he was able to pull through.
My body was torn apart by an enemy 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.”
After 40 surgeries and over 2 years in the hospital, he was finally on his way to recovery.
He was given a purple heart, and the Medal of Honor by the president – the highest military honor in the United States – on June 19, 2014. There are only 7 other living recipients of this award currently.
He is making the most out of his second chance at life. Skydiving, running marathons, swimming, and anything he can to help his fellow veterans. He enrolled in the University of Carolina and has become a public speaker and an advocate for wounded servicemen and women.
I’m still here and kicking and, you know, I have all my limbs so you’ll never hear me complain.”
William Kyle Carpenter is a true American Hero.
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