On Nov. 21, 2010 then Lance Corporal, William Kyle Carpenter’s life changed forever. On that day, he did something so remarkably selfless and courageous, that it is beyond the imagination of most of us. And his decisive choice of action that day saved the life of one fellow Marine.
Carpenter was in Afghanistan serving as an automatic rifleman with Fox Co., 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team One, 1st Marine Division (forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (forward) in Helmund Province. His unit was patrolling with a combined Afghan military force when they came under a daylight attack by the Taliban. Carpenter and another Marine were manning a small sandbag bunker atop a building when a grenade landed within that very small space.
Carpenter’s Medal of Honor citation reads, in part: “Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him but saving the life of his fellow Marine.”
This video will give you more of a personal view of these events as his family heard about them. You will hear his mother reading from some of his own letters home before the incident, and you will get an idea of his current attitude toward life as he has continued along his long road to recovery.
He is like all of our Medal of Honor recipients, a man of humility. He is an inspiration for all of us. In his own words:
“Appreciate the small and simple things, be kind and help others, let the ones you love always know you love them and when things get hard, trust that there is a bigger plan and that you will be stronger for it.”
God bless you, Kyle Carpenter. May you continue to enjoy a long life of much accomplishment.
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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.