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President Barack Obama awarded a Medal of Honor to Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, who put himself in between a grenade and a fellow Marine in order to save his life.
The Associated Press reports that he is among eight living individuals who have been chosen to receive a Medal of Honor for heroic actions taken in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
He was in Afghanistan in November 2010, standing guard at a patrol base where a small village was located, along with Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio. They were on security detail on a rooftop when the grenade hit.
A total of three were tossed toward the base, with one hitting an Afghan soldier, another one that did not detonate and the third one landing near both Carpenter and Eufrazio.
While Eufrazio sustained a head injury, Carpenter took most of the blast and sustained injuries such as a collapsed lung, facial fractures, injuries to his arms and legs, and he would later lose an eye.
After being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical center in Maryland, Carpenter retired.
CBS News reported that doctors did not think Carpenter would survive due to the severity of his injuries. However, he was able to prove them wrong and four years after his injuries, he was at the White House to obtain the Medal. He is the youngest recipient living to receive the medal.
At the ceremony, President Obama said, “We are here because this man, this United States Marine, faced down that terrible explosive power, that unforgiving force, with his own body, willingly and deliberately, to protect a fellow Marine.”
President Obama also praised the medical team who were able to help Carpenter just long enough for him to be taken to the hospital for treatment.
image courtesy of INFphoto.com