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Marine Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter will receive the Medal of Honor Thursday for his courageous action during the war in Afghanistan in 2010. Carpenter fell on a grenade in order to save a colleague at his own expense, losing his right eye and suffering injuries that have taken him over two years to recover from.
Carpenter was fighting in Helmand province, Afghanistan as a machine gunner, the White House said, reports CNN. He was injured on Nov. 21, 2010 and thought to be dead. But after two and a half years of being in a hospital, doctors helped rebuild his body and he is thankful for the doctors who helped him.
"I look back, and I'm actually very appreciative I had those two and a half years, because those years put things in perspective more than a whole lifetime of things could if I wasn't there,” Carpenter told CNN.
While speaking with Fox News, Carpenter recalled that, after the attack, he didn’t wake up until arriving at Walter Reed Medical Center five weeks later.
“I remember very vividly saying over and over that I’m not going to make it, I’m going to die,” he told Fox News. “And the Marines and the corpsman that got to me very quickly and saved my life, they kept telling me the opposite and they really hung there with me and put me back together as best they could and got me on that Medevac flight to get to the hospital.”
By falling on the grenade, Carpenter saved Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio’s life. Carpenter considered him his “best friend.”
Carpenter will receive the nation’s highest military honor today. He will be only the eighth living veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the medal.