WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on Thursday on an Afghanistan veteran who took the blow from a grenade to save a fellow Marine, praising him for displaying the type of valor that will inspire generations.
In a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Obama placed the blue ribbon around the neck of retired Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter as family, military members and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel looked on. In all likelihood, Carpenter should have died that day in Afghanistan, Obama said, but the fact he survives gives the nation reason to believe in a higher power.
“This United States Marine faced down that terrible explosive power, that unforgiving force, with his own body, willingly and deliberately, to protect a fellow Marine.”
Carpenter, now 24, was wounded Nov. 21, 2010, while guarding a patrol base in a small village in Helmand province.