Submitted by Jon Freeman
On November 21, 2010, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter was posted on the top of a building in Afghanistan, along with fellow Marine Nick Eufrazio. Suddenly, an enemy grenade landed on top of the building and scuttled toward Kyle and Nick. Kyle made a split second decision to sacrifice himself and jump on top of the grenade, saving the life of the Marine next to him. Kyle was awarded the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military decoration, in 2014 for his act; he became the youngest living recipient of the award, and only the second living Marine since Vietnam given this honor. After taking the blast from the grenade, Kyle was rushed via medevac helicopter to a combat hospital at Camp Bastion. Kyle was severely injured and flatlined multiple times needing to be revived again and again. He was later sent to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany and then to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for more surgeries.
This is a story of a Marine who’s sacrifice made him a hero to many people, and the story of his rebirth recovering from his terrible injuries. In the grenade blast Kyle lost his right eye and most of his jaw. He had many other physical injuries and needed dozens of surgeries. It took nearly three years for Kyle to recover from his many injuries, and he was left with scars on his face and many scars on the rest of his body. He has so many scars he even chose the social media handle @chiksdigscars for his twitter and instagram accounts. As Kyle writes about scars in his book, “The things about scars is that they bear witness to something in our past. They are a reminder of an incident, an injury, an accident, or a mishap – something that went wrong. But they are also a reminder of something that went right: The body healed itself. . . . That can only happen if you are alive; scars mark you as a survivor.” Since recovering from his injuries Kyle has graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in International Studies, run a marathon, spoke at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan, gone skydiving, and recently he wrote this book. To read more about Marine Kyle Carpenter and his amazing story check out his book You Are Worth It.