Marine Wounded in Afghanistan Earns Medal of Honor

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 11:09 PM

By Cathy Burke

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A young Marine veteran wounded during a grenade attack in Afghanistan in 2010 will be awarded the nation's top combat valor award, Marine Corp Times reported Wednesday.

William Kyle Carpenter, 24, who has retired, will be only the third Medal of Honor winner from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Military Times, citing unnamed sources, said a ceremony would be held later this year.

Carpenter, 21, a lance corporal, covered a grenade to save the life of a friend, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, on Nov. 21, 2010, as they stood guard in the Marjah district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Military Times reported.

Both survived the blast. Carpenter lost his right eye and most of his teeth, his jaw was shattered and his arm was broken in dozens of places. Eufrazio suffered brain damage that left him, until recently, unable to speak, the newspaper reported.

The blast investigation was hampered by a lack of witnesses, Carpenter's loss of any memory of the incident and Eufrazio's inability to speak, the newspaper noted.

But Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Kroll, Carpenter’s platoon sergeant, told the newspaper, “Our feeling has always been that Kyle shielded Nick from that blast.”

“Grenade blasts blow up, they don’t blow down” Christopher Frend, who triaged the soldiers, told the newspaper in 2012. “If he hadn’t done it, what we found would have looked completely different.”

Carpenter remains close with Dakota Meyer, who in 2011 became the first Marine Medal of Honor recipient from the war in Afghanistan.

The corps’ only other post-9/11 Medal of Honor recipient, Cpl. Jason Dunham, was recognized posthumously for smothering a grenade in Iraq in 2004, Military Times reported.

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