Injured Marine receives hero's welcome back in SC - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Injured Marine receives hero's welcome back in SC

By Tim Pulliam

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - One of South Carolina's bravest is back home. A group of motorcycles ushered Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter back to his neighborhood Tuesday night.

It was a special moment between dad and son as Carpenter was embraced by his father James. Kyle didn't expect so many loved ones to greet him in Gilbert. "All I can say is thank you, and that I love everybody and I appreciate it more than words can say," said Carpenter.

A humbling and an overwhelming moment for the marine as loud cheers, welcome home signs and the American flag surrounded Kyle. "It's a special night for Kyle," said Chris Mattox. "I just felt like being here. I felt like it was right."

"It really amazes me how brave of a person he is," said Kathryn Burkett.

Some say courageous. Kyle's family says he was injured trying to save a fellow Marine in Afghanistan. He fell on a grenade from a Taliban fighter as it exploded.

He lost sight in his right eye, a huge sacrifice the crowd realizes he paid for their freedom.

"They love you, buddy," said Kyle's father, something obvious from the turnout to celebrate a war veteran who doesn't consider himself a hero.

"I don't think so," said Carpenter. "Look at the people that are here. I would do it for them again."

Family members say Kyle still has a long recovery ahead with more treatments for his injuries. He also received the Purple Heart for his service.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

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