A Medal of Honor recipient is born like any other American. This one, Kyle Carpenter, was born in Jackson, Mississippi in October 1989. Now the youngest awardee of this prestigious Presidential honor, Kyle enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 19 and finished basic training in July 2009 at Parris Island, South Carolina. He then continued to Camp Geiger School of Infantry at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Shortly after finishing infantry training, Carpenter was assigned to Marah in Helmand Province, Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009. He served as a gunner there, in support of his fellow Marines. November 21, 2010 was Kyle’s fateful day, when he committed the acts which earned him the Medal of Honor. He had joined his team in a small village to fight off the Taliban. An enemy hand grenade landed near him, also in close proximity to his fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio. To save Eufrazio, Carpenter bravely threw himself in front of the grenade.
The resulting blast caused major facial injuries and serious damage to his right arm. He had multiple shrapnel wounds and lost his right eye. In March 2011, the legislature of South Carolina passed a resolution in recognition of Carpenter’s service. It stated that he “has shown himself worthy of the name Marine” by suffering “catastrophic wounds in the cause of freedom.” Carpenter was medically retired from active duty in July 2013. He then enrolled in the University of South Carolina, where the 26 year old seems to be living quite a life as a member of Chi-Omega chapter of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. His Instagram account shows how much he is enjoying life after the Medal of Honor, every day.
[start inserting images / captions below] Seemingly humble despite his insta-fame, Kyle recently captioned one image on his Instagram by writing, “This Marine hugged me, started crying and told me I was his hero. It’s hard for me to comprehend and accept that but just know that meant more than I could ever put into words or tell you. Semper Fidelis brother and thank you for your sacrifice and service.”
When paying tribute to his mother, who helped him through the struggles of recovery from his injuries, he captioned an image, “My beautiful mother. From brushing my teeth when my arms were tied up in the hospital to lending me your shoulder after my ceremony four years later, you’re always there. Thank you and I love you.”
Other images show a recent visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where he paid tribute to his fallen comrades.
Another depicts a prayer card still held by a magnet to his grandmother’s refrigerator from the time of his deployment to Afghanistan in 2009.
When other veterans honor him, he returns sentiments. An example is by captioning an image, “Meet Rew, a quiet man that politely told me thank you. Only after talking to him found out that he served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. There are no words to express the thank you or appreciation you deserve.#GreatestGeneration”
He proudly exhibited a photo of his muddy participation in a recent Marine Corps Mud Run, where he competed in top form alongside fellow Marines.
Of course, like many young men, he enjoys the company of some pretty ladies, and there are plenty of photos of girls crowded around him. Some include pictures of sorority sisters, others show cheerleaders from opposing teams, even more include bikini-clad vixens lounging aboard his boat.
He has been photographed skydiving with a Red Bull sponsored jumper. His remarks at the White House awards ceremony for his Medal of Honor were on a simple sheet of paper, but packed power in their words. An Instagram user named ChroniclyDope recently posted an image of Carpenter, applauding his Medal of Honor receipt. Another user responded by commenting, “This guy jumped on a grenade to save his friend. I don’t think anyone can doubt that he is a hero.”