SC Marine to receive Medal of Honor in June - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SC Marine to receive Medal of Honor in June

Corp. William "Kyle" Carpenter Corp. William "Kyle" Carpenter
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A 25-year-old South Carolina resident will be honored with the Medal of Honor after he shielded a fellow Marine from a grenade blast in Afghanistan.

Retired Cpl. William "Kyle" Carpenter, a graduate of W. Wyman King Academy in Batesburg, will travel to Washington D.C. on June 19 to receive the honor, according to the White House.

Carpenter is receiving the award for an incident in the Helmland Province of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom on Nov. 21, 2010.

The corporal jumped in front of a live grenade to shield his friend, fellow Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, from the blast.

Carpenter lost his right eye and most of his teeth in the attack. His jaw was also shattered and his arm was broken in dozens of places, but he and Eufrazio survived the attack.

Since then, the now medically-retired Carpenter has had over 40 surgeries to repair his arm and his face and has worked to serve as an ambassador for the Marine Corps and the state of South Carolina.

"I think that carries a huge responsibility and puts a lot of weight on my shoulders to be a positive figure for South Carolina," said Carpenter in a previous interview.

Carpenter also attends the University of South Carolina.

The Medal of Honor is just the latest award for the South Carolina Marine who has already received the Purple Heart, the Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

"Nobody deserves a Medal of Honor more than Kyle Carpenter does," said fellow Marine Gene Wilbur.

There had been rumors for a while that Carpenter would be receiving the honor; hearing it's official, gets even a Marine choked up.

"Quite frankly, when I hung up, I was ready to cry," laughed Wilbur. "And of course, you know Marines don't cry."

Carpenter is the eighth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"This guy is phenomenal," said Wilbur. "You know, even Superman looks up to him. "

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