"The man you see before you, Cpl. William 'Kyle' Carpenter, should not be alive." (Via The White House)
On Thursday, U.S. Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter became the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient at 24 years old.
In November 2010, Carpenter was stationed in Helmand province in Afghanistan when a hand grenade was thrown onto a roof beside him and another marine. Carpenter threw himself on the grenade in an attempt to absorb the blast. (Via U.S. Marines)
Carpenter sustained massive injuries from the explosion, including a fractured skull, punctured lung, the loss of vision in his right eye and damages to his upper and lower extremities. His friend and fellow marine is still recovering from a head injury. (Via C-SPAN)
On his way to receive his award, Carpenter was surprised with a send off from fellow veterans. "For him to receive this honor, it's an honor for South Carolina, not just for him." (Via WIS-TV)
Sen. Roger Wicker told the Clarion Ledger: "Corporal Carpenter's acts of heroism demonstrated the highest form of bravery and selfless sacrifice." (Via The Clarion-Ledger)
In fact, Carpenter seems to be the only one unimpressed by his actions.
"I know if 1,000 Marines were put in the same situation I was in, they would do the same thing for me." (Via WLTX)
After approximately forty surgeries, Carpenter bounced back and returned home. He completed the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. last October and is now a sophomore at the University of South Carolina.