Medal of Honor Recipient to Fellow Marines: ‘I Wear It For You’
(Note: Scroll to the bottom for a couple of good videos)
On Wednesday, Patrick Edaburn linked to the amazing story of how Medal of Honor nominee Marine Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter made an “astonishing medical recovery” after he was almost blown apart by a hand grenade in Afghanistan in 2010.
Yesterday, during a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Cpl. Carpenter who became the third Marine recipient of the Medal for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama leads an ovation for Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), after awarding him the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Carpenter received the Medal of Honor for his actions while deployed in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2010. He became the third Marine and the 15th overall recipient of the medal for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Here is how Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Eric Keenan from the Defense Media Activity describes the ceremony and Carpenter’s heroic actions:
“With that singular act of courage, Kyle, you not only saved your brother in arms, you displayed heroism in a blink of an eye that will inspire for generations — valor worthy of our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor,” Obama said.
On Nov. 21, 2010, Taliban insurgents initiated an attack on Carpenter’s squad, part of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. Carpenter, the squad automatic rifleman for his fire team, and Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio were holding a rooftop security position when a hand grenade was thrown their way.
Without hesitation, Carpenter reacted, rushing toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his brother-in-arms from the blast.
Carpenter and Eufrazio survived the attack but not without sustaining severe injuries. After two and a half years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Carpenter was medically retired from the Marine Corps on July 30, 2013.
“You notice Kyle doesn’t hide his scars. He’s proud of them and the service they represent,” Obama said.
Carpenter was born in Flowood, Miss., and resides in South Carolina. He is now a full-time student at the University of South Carolina.
Carpenter’s awards include the Purple Heart Medal, the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal International Security Assistance Force, and now the Medal of Honor.
Created during the American Civil War, the Medal of Honor was and is awarded for gallantry in combat. Over the years, the honor evolved. Now a much more strict and regulated selection process with a separate medal for the Army, Navy and Air Force exists. In the medal’s history, there have only been 3,469 recipients.”
Please read the full remarks by the President at the presentation of the Medal of Honor to Corporal William Kyle Carpenter here or watch the video below:
Also, watch a video narrated by Kyle Carpenter himself, below
Today, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos presented the Medal of Honor flag to Marine Corps Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter in a ceremony at the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C.
Terri Moon Cronk at the American Forces Pres Service reports:
“After presenting Carpenter with the flag, Amos told him to look over the audience.
“There are 4,400 Marines, all enlisted, who are here for you,” Amos told Carpenter. Carpenter’s Medal of Honor flag ceremony, Amos said, was only the second such event for a Marine. The first was for Dakota Meyer in 2011.
Paraphrasing what Carpenter said to him earlier, Amos told him, “You said, ‘I just did my duty. I did what all Marines are expected to do.’ This parade is for you, Kyle.”
As reported by American Forces Press Service, on Nov. 21, 2010, Taliban insurgents attacked Carpenter’s squad, part of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. Carpenter, the squad automatic rifleman for his fire team, and Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio were holding a rooftop security position when a hand grenade was thrown their way. Without hesitation, Carpenter reacted, rushing toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his brother-in-arms Eufrazio from the blast.
The flag ceremony at the Marine Corps’ oldest base included a full military parade on the Marine Barracks parade field and performances by the President’s Own Marine Band and the Commandant’s Own Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
Carpenter’s family members from South Carolina were in the audience, in addition to former Marines whom he’d served with and a group of fellow college students.
“This week has been almost like a dream,” Carpenter said as he looked over the audience from the parade field. “The most important thing that’s happened this week is not [receiving] the Medal of Honor — it’s having all of you here.”
Referring to his Medal of Honor, Carpenter told Marines, “I truly mean it when I say I wear it for you.”
Later in the day, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and other officials inducted Medal of Honor recipient Marine Corps Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon. (Below – DOD Photo)
Red Hagel’s moving words here.
Lead Photo: President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. June 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)