Marine.Medal.of.Honor

Remember the scene in the first Captain America — the one where Cap throws himself on what he thinks is a real grenade to protect his fellow soldiers?

It's incredibly honorable to sacrifce oneself for the protection of others. There are few better ways to die. The fact that Marvel's Captain America depicts such a scene is a good sign for American moviegoers.

Yeah. Well, that guy really exists.

Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter, who was severely wounded during a 2010 grenade attack, is set to become the third Medal of Honor recipient from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The medically retired Marine Corps veteran will be commended for shielding Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio from a live grenade in Afghanistan on Nov. 21, 2010, the Army Times reported.

“We knew the area we were moving into was one of the rougher areas. … The grenade hit … and our Marines do what they do best — they took care of us and they kept us alive,” he told the Army Times.

Cpl. Carpenter, 24, suffered the loss of his right eye, a blown-out eardrum, a “pretty much blown off” lower jaw and various other broken bones. Damage to the soldier’s frontal lobe also left him unable to speak until just recently. …

“I’m still here and kicking and I have all my limbs, so you’ll never hear me complain,” he said.

If you get a chance, read up on his full story. It’s amazing.

“I just wanted to give a little shout out to all the people that not necessarily doubted, but who didn’t think 15 months ago that I’d be running 10K marathons and doing more pull-ups than I at one point thought I could do. I guess this is a message and a constant reminder for me and everybody out there that thinks they have obstacles to accomplish and overcome.”

The guy was in many respects blown to bits, he couldn’t talk for an extended amount of time because of injuries sustained to his brain, and yet he finds the drive and determination to get back into the kind of shape it takes to run marathons and knock out pull-ups.

Imagine what the world would look like if everyone had William Kyle Carpenter’s attitude. I feel confident saying that it would be a much better place.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

20 comments

  1. You wonder how many times a selfless act like this has gone on in all the nation’s armed conflicts; and we never hear about it. Cpl. Carpenter’s story makes the Oscars/potential NCAA tournament seeds/Bruce Jenners 1000th facelift surgery coverage seem even sillier by comparison. I’m all for fun stories but media and consuming public need a priority adjustment sometimes. Inspiring post!

    1. I’m glad it inspired you, Patrick!

      The one thing I’ll never really understand is when I write a post and people show up in the comments section and say I’m “angry” or that I’m not empathetic. Actually, I’m not angry, I love positive people like William Kyle Carpenter, and I am empathetic — I just happen to think that sitting around and bitching about bad things does no one any good.

      I look at someone like Mr. Carptenter and how he reacts to adversity, and then I think of certain political activists…and it’s like, “Who has the the worldview that is going to translate into success?” Hands down it’s the Marine.

      What some people don’t get is that I spent three years in a world filled with guys like that. While I didn’t end up in Afghanistan and Iraq, I still absorbed a lot of knowledge from them. I saw first hand what a “can do” attitude can achieve in difficult situations. So yes, I empathize with people who might have “x” number of obstacles in their lives, but my patience only goes so far. At some point you have to just suck it up and figure out a way to overcome the odds or die trying.

    2. Inspiring for sure. I’m back in school, yourself and Carl are writing books, and I’m sure everyone reading has a goal they want to accomplish. Mr. Carpenter shows the bridge between wanting to accomplish and accomplish/accomplishing….and he has had way more obstacles then most of us due to that grenade! And the cool part; “…I have all my limbs….you’ll never hear me complain.”; shows me to make most of what we have instead of lamenting the things we don’t to accomplish the goal.

    3. Definitely, Patrick. I think everyone has a goal they want to achieve in their lives. Mine has always been to finish my book. I’ve never been one to just give up and lament about what “could’ve been.” Rather, I’ve always believed that if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish anything.

  2. Always nice to read a story about one of the good guys, Doug. Yeah Patrick somehow the liberals running America’s media are light on reporting about military sacrifice. I wonder why that is? :sarcasm-off:

    1. Kyle Carpenter doesn’t fit the profile the media wants to cover (e.g., disturbed) so he’s not going to get the air time he probably deserves. The Medal of Honor might change some of that. Although, he was interviewed by Katie Couric, so that’s something I guess… I haven’t seen the video yet.

  3. Definitely good to read such an inspirational post after a bad couple of days for me. The MSM only focuses on the military when PTSD is involve and/or they want to demonize our troops for defending us from Islamist militants or other enemies. Most of the time, like Patrick said, they’re too busy covering superficial nonsense like the Oscars or what the Kardashians are up to and so on.

    Self-entitled brats like Suey Park and other so-called “activists” (including the troll from Dublin) have destructive worldviews. As someone who has always believed in the values of hard work and personal responsibility, I have more respect for people like Carpenter than I ever will any angry so-called “activist like Park who thinks she’s owed everything and blames everyone but herself for problems of her own making.

  4. Another real life hero. A true inspiration.

    Doug, I don’t think you lack compassion and empathy. In a world where everyone’s “issues” are not their own responsibility people who don’t immediately agree with them are EVIL.

    1. Exactly. They view people who don’t agree with them as their enemies. I’ve known plenty of people like that. I’ve been accused of lacking compassion and empathy in the past and accused of being “angry” as well, but I’m not. I just don’t have any patience for whiners who refuse to take responsibility for themselves.

    2. My thing is, everyone has obstacles in their life. That “privileged” guy may have a learning disability,or maybe he was abused by his parents, or maybe he had his frontal lobe damaged when he threw himself on a grenade. I think there’s an industry that promotes envy and jealousy. That is incredibly destructive to the individual and, in the aggregate, the country at large. I’d much rather adopt the William Carpenter approach to the obstacles in my life than the “Who can I sit around and blame for this?” option.

      Every second of your life is another second you will never get back. It’s preciousness is made even more apparent when we realize that we can die at any moment (e.g., car crash, heart attack). Given that, do I want to spend those seconds pointing my finger at the world complaining, or do I want to figure out how to do the things I want to do? The answer, at least to me, is obvious.

    3. I agree. I don’t like to blame others for my problems, so I would rather try to figure out how to accomplish my ultimate goals. I think if more people adopted the William Carpenter approach, the world would be a better place.

    4. In a world where everyone’s “issues” are not their own responsibility people who don’t immediately agree with them are EVIL.

      Well said, Andrew…

  5. What a wonderful story of heroism. Beyond that, Cpl. Carpenter has such a fantastic outlook in the face of adversity that would bring others to their knees. He truly exemplifies the Corps’ three values. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    1. I’m sure you have seen this, but I thought to add it for those who haven’t.

      http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_25271319/wwii-vet-becomes-viral-video-star-san-jose-tribute

      Another wonderful story. People do care and I commend you and the Times for spreading the story of Cpl. Carpenter, when most of the media, right and left, have all but ignored him. I did a Google News search and you had first day, breaking article. The bigger outlets are just now catching up. There were 5 news articles total on the 5th (including WT, congrats), 60 yesterday, and up to 515 total today. Still, criminally under-reported, but it’s getting better.

    2. It’s sad that these types of stories get ignored but I’m glad that bloggers like Doug and also the Times were ahead of the curve and finally the rest of the media is catching up.

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