Marine who dove on grenade to save friend will receive Medal of Honor
WASHINGTON (Derek Drake) -- A Marine Corps veteran, who risked his life by jumping on a grenade to save his friend and fellow Marine, is expected to receive the Medal of Honor later this year.
According to sources close to the Marine Corps Times, William Kyle Carpenter, 24, a medically retired corporal, will become the service's third Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
His nomination stems from his valor in battle on November 21, 2010. According to reports, Carpenter, then a 21-year-old Lance Cpl., and his friend, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, were standing guard on a rooftop in the Marjah district of Afghanistan's Helmand province when a grenade was tossed at their feet.
According to the report, Carpenter dove on top of the grenade to sheild the blast. Both Carpenter and Eufrazio survived, but were badly wounded. Carpenter lost his right eye and most of his teeth, his jaw was shattered and his arm broken. Eufrazio was hit with shrapnel that damaged the right frontal lobe of his brain and, until recently, had rendered him unable to speak.
The Marine Corps' investigation into the battle report has met delays due to the circumstances surrounding the event. There were no witnesses to what took place after the grenade was tossed, Carpenter had no memory of the event due to trauma sustained from the explosion and Eufrazio has only recently been able to speak after a long road to recovery.
Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Kroll, Carpenters platoon segreant, told the Marine Corps Times that even though nobody knew for sure what happened, Our feeling has always been that Kyle shielded Nick from that blast.
A medic who treated the wounds of the two Marines said the injuries sustained by Carpenter and the evidence at the scene would suggest Carpenter did, in fact, cover the grenade with his body. Adding the blast seat of the grenade, or the point of its detonation, was found underneath the torso of Carpenter.
While the investigation continued, Carpenter quickly came to be seen as a Marine hero and more than 13,000 people have followed his Facebook page, "Operation Kyle," which documents his recovery and projects after his retirement.
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