Kyle Carpenter, USMC, awarded the Medal of Honor 6/19/14


Sep 12, 2012

"Retired Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, 24, will receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in Afghanistan in 2010, the White House announced today. He will become only the second living Marine to receive the award for actions during the Global War on Terrorism.

On Nov. 21, 2010, Carpenter covered a grenade with his own body to save a fellow Marine. At the time, the two with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, were manning a rooftop post at the newly established Patrol Base Dakota in the Marjah district of Helmand province.

The new base was several kilometers south of PB Beatley, much closer to insurgent strongholds, and Fox Company had taken regular harassing fire, including grenade attacks that had wounded two Marines the day before.

Carpenter says it is difficult to remember exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the detonation, but those who served with him say they are confident he covered the grenade to save Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio. Eufrazio did not die, but sustained grave brain injuries from shrapnel, despite Carpenter’s sacrifice.

When Marine Corps Times first reported in March that Carpenter had been tapped for the MoH, fellow Marines said they never doubted he deserved the medal.

Blake Schreiber who was present during the attack recounted what he saw.

“I could only see half their bodies; you could see Kyle falling down toward [the grenade],” Schreiber said. “I had to look away for a quick second. And that’s when the boom went off. There was screaming, everybody moving fast. The reaction time was insane.”

Because the fortified position blocked a direct line of sight, no Marine actually saw Carpenter on the grenade. But a corpsman’s assessment and a post-blast analysis by explosive ordnance technicians left no doubt among those who were there that day that Carpenter had sacrificed himself.

When Marines turned Carpenter over, they saw that he had lost most of his jaw, fractured his right arm in more than 30 places, lost an eye and sustained a host of other grave injuries. They also found the grenade’s spoon squarely under his torso.

“When EOD did a post-blast analysis, they said there’s no way that he didn’t jump on it,” said Michael Tinari, then a lance corporal Carpenter’s platoon, who had been at Camp Dwyer, in the Garmsir district, when the Marines were wounded. When Tinari heard that Carpenter had sacrificed himself in an attempt to shield his friend, he said he didn’t doubt it for a moment.

“I will tell you Kyle is probably the most genuine person you’ll ever meet,” he said. “He’s the most polite person, he’s genuine. You’ll never meet anyone like Kyle Carpenter, I assure you of that.”

Since Carpenter’s heroism in Afghanistan, followed by a remarkable recovery that included more than 30 surgeries, he has emerged as an inspirational figure who loves snow boarding, sky diving and educance sports. He has appeared on several national TV shows, eventually completed a Marine Corps Marathon and begin an undergraduate degree at the University of South Carolina this year. He was medically retired July 30 during a small ceremony at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The fact that there were no direct witnesses may have contributed to the long lag between the time of the incident and the official announcement of the award. By law, a formal recommendation for the Medal of Honor must come within three years of the combat action for which it is awarded."


Verified Military
Oct 14, 2010
"When Tinari heard that Carpenter had sacrificed himself in an attempt to shield his friend, he said he didn’t doubt it for a moment."

The above quoted line from the article said it all for me.

Outstanding job, Cpl. Carpenter!


SOF Support
Feb 27, 2014
Military Mentor

I don't have a subscription, but for those who do, you may be interested in this.

Many are familiar with the story behind Cpl. Kyle Carpenter’s Medal of Honor, but few know much about the friend and fellow Marine he was trying to protect. Now a documentary filmmaker is sharing the story of Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, a young man who was told he’d never speak again, highlighting his trying recovery.

When Carpenter jumped on an enemy grenade on a rooftop in Afghanistan in 2010, he sustained shrapnel wounds and massive damage to his right side. Eufrazio, the Marine he tried to shield from the blast, survived with a severe traumatic brain injury. Carpenter was thrust into the public eye when he received his medal, but Eufrazio and his family have largely avoided media attention.

A new 13-minute documentary film by artist Thi Linh Wernau gives a glimpse into Eufrazio’s recovery, depicting him laughing and talking with family members, reading bits of original poetry written prior to his injuries, and discussing his current hobbies: skiing and fishing. The film, along with still photos of Eufrazio, is part of “You. Are. Beautiful.” — a larger photo and film series featuring wounded veterans.

“I’m still tough and dedicated, yes I am,” he says in the video.

Eufrazio, now 23 and medically retired, is shown sitting in a wheelchair in his home in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He lights up with an infectious smile when Wernau, off-camera, asks him about his Marine Corps service. His speech, recovered two years after the injury, is slow at times and slurred. But it’s miraculous considering his doctors’ prognosis that, with the damage to his frontal lobe, he’d never talk again.

In the video, Wernau asks Eufrazio to read aloud a poem about his early ambitions to play football and receive a commission as a Marine officer.

“I worry that I’m not good enough to be an infantry officer ... I try not to let people down and to make things easier for everyone by doing my part. I hope that people will wake up and see what I am doing and realize why I am doing it,” he reads. “I am tough and dedicated.”

The film shows brief images of his hospitalization following the blast. His injuries required spinal taps and a shunt to relieve pressure on his brain. Much of his skull had to be rebuilt, and he still has a concave mark at his right temple.

The film also shows Eufrazio interacting with his mother, Suzanne, his father, Mark, and his 17-year-old brother, Andrew.

Wernau, who lives about 90 minutes away in Gloucester, said she chose to feature Eufrazio with his family to emphasize the importance of wounded veterans’ caregivers. She encountered the Eufrazios, she said, through the Boston Wounded Vet Run, an event started by Marine veteran Andrew Biggio, who became one of her early subjects.

She acknowledged that the Eufrazios, who declined through Andrew Eufrazio to comment on this story, had some wariness about being featured in a public project. But they were warm and open, she said, once they learned about her project and her intent to honor and empower wounded veterans.

“What I do is outside the pomp and circumstance of ceremonies and parades,” she said. “And it’s also outside of the package of traditional media. It’s not heavily produced, but it’s real.”

Wernau said she didn’t discuss Carpenter’s recent Medal of Honor ceremony, at which President Obama publicly acknowledged Eufrazio and wished him well, or the public account of what happened in the moments before the grenade detonated. Mark Eufrazio has previously disputed the account that Carpenter jumped on the grenade, saying he wouldn’t have survived the blast if he had.

“I positioned it [as] this is about sharing who he is as a person,” Wernau said. “I didn’t go there to say anything about recent events.”

Wernau is using the series to raise support for wounded veterans through the Semper Fi Fund, with nearly $2,000 raised so far toward her goal of $20,000.

She’ll feature more than 30 photographs from “You. Are. Beautiful.” at a Boston art gallery exhibition in October, an event that she said will be attended by Col. T. Shane “Rhino” Tomko, commander of the Marines’ Wounded Warrior Regiment, as well as the Eufrazio family.

Another project focused on wounded veterans is still in the works. Wernau said she plans to release a feature-length documentary titled “Darkness and Light” next spring. The film will be based on interviews with 11 different wounded veterans, 10 of whom are Marines.
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Verified Military
Jan 22, 2007
In the lead up to South Carolina's first football game of the 2014 season, the SEC Network did a pretty good story about Kyle Carpenter.