Cpl Kyle Carpenter, USMC was awarded the Medal of Honor on 19 June 2014 for his actions in combat near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on November 21, 2010. He is credited with attempting to shield a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, from a grenade blast on a rooftop security post. Both Marines suffered major injuries in the attack.
Carpenter was born in Jackson, Mississippi on October 17, 1989. He enlisted in the Marine Corps’ delayed entry program in February 2009, and completed Recruit Training in March 2009 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. After completing his initial training at the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, Private First Class Carpenter was assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 6th Marine Regiment where he served as a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner from September 2009 to November 2010.
In July 2010, Corporal Carpenter deployed to Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On November 21, 2010, while joining his team to fight off a Taliban attack in a small village the Marines had nicknamed Shadier between two villages nicknamed Shady and Shadiest, Carpenter suffered severe injuries to his face and right arm from the blast of an enemy hand grenade; after-action reports state that he threw himself in front of the grenade to protect a fellow Marine.
Carpenter's former battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Fullwood, told Marine Corps Times in a story published in January 2012 that the Corps was still investigating what happened the day Carpenter and Eufrazio were injured.
"The actions that happened on that roof are definitely a matter of interest," Fullwood said. "We've never, from that day until now, stopped trying to uncover what took place, whether it be for reasons of identifying someone who deserves to be recognized with an award or to understand more about the events that unfolded."
In March 2011, the South Carolina legislature passed a resolution recognizing Carpenter's service, noting that he "suffered catastrophic wounds in the cause of freedom" and "has shown himself worthy of the name Marine."
Carpenter currently is a patient attached to Wounded Warrior Battalion East, Bethesda, Maryland, where on Thursday, November 10, 2011, he participated in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the dedication of the newly integrated Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.Service/Branch - United States Marine Corps