Horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter threw himself in front of a grenade to protect his comrade, Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, who suffered a serious brain injury and is recovering in Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. With a missing eye, most of his teeth gone, a useless right arm and a face ravaged with deep scars, Carpenter stood proudly on the floor of the South Carolina Senate last week where he was honored and presented with a proclamation.
The 21-year-old hero was wounded last November 21 near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, which is considered one of the most dangerous battle stations in the world. His only memory of the incident is seeing the grenade and then a flash followed a fellow marine comforting him and assuring him that he would be fine.
Four weeks later, Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter woke up in a German hospital, his family by his side. Senator Jake Knotts, who sponsored and read the proclamation, nominated Carpenter for the Medal of Honor, but the wounded marine modestly deflected accolades by claiming that “people saying they are proud of me is enough.”
The Senate resolution acknowledged Carpenter’s terrible wounds and the young marine shook hands with almost every senator present, using his left hand.
This young marine represents all that is noble and good and self-sacrificing within the US of A, as Archie Bunker used to say. For much of the populace, there is too much preoccupation with mundane affairs to focus on the atrocities occurring on behalf of the American people every day in Afghanistan and Iraq. William Kyle Carpenter is one of the bravest among us and may the others who stand by his side also receive the praises of a grateful nation.