Soldier Who Put Himself Between Grenade and Friend Awarded Medal of Honor

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Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter waits to be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama in the East Room of the White House. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Nearly four years ago, Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter jumped between a grenade and a fellow Marine while they were guarding a patrol base in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Carpenter, now 24, took the brunt of the blast, which shattered his jaw and other bones, collapsed his right lung and took out his right eye. He spent 21/2 years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and endured more than 40 surgeries.

On Thursday, President Obama presented Carpenter with the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions. He is the eighth living recipient from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan to receive the nation’s highest honor.

“Up close, it’s almost certain death,” Obama said. “But we are here because this man, this United States Marine, faced down that terrible explosive power, that unforgiving force, with his own body.”

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