William Kyle Carpenter, a Marine Corps veteran who threw himself onto a grenade to protect his friend in Afghanistan, is slated to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor later this year, according to the Marine Corps Times.
Carpenter, now 24, was serving in Afghanistan in the Marjah district of the Helmand province in November 2010. While standing guard on a rooftop with his friend, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, Carpenter threw himself on a grenade that had been lobbed at the pair.
Both men survived the blast, though they were badly wounded: Carpenter lost his right eye and most of his teeth; his jaw was shattered and his arm was broken in dozens of places. Eufrazio sustained brain damage so severe that he was unable to speak until late 2012, when he began greeting hospital visitors by name, according to his family.
While the pair’s injuries complicated the investigation into the incident, Carpenter’s platoon sergeant told the Marine Corps Times, “Our feeling has always been that Kyle shielded Nick from that blast.”
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