Welcome

Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Obama awards medal to a wounded veteran

BY JOSH LEDERMANAssociated Press

WASHINGTON - A 24-year-old veteran who lost an eye after taking a grenade blast in Afghanistan to save a fellow Marine received the nation's highest military honor Thursday in a somber ceremony that took place at the White House.

President Barack Obama walked from the briefing room, where he had just announced plans to send up to 300 U.S. military advisers into Iraq, to the East Room, where he praised retired Cpl. William "Kyle" Carpenter's instinctive valor and called him a shining example for a post-9/11 generation.

"Carpenter should not be alive today, but the fact that he is gives us reason to trust that there is indeed a higher power," Obama said.

The dual events - Obama's announcement regarding sending advisors into Iraq and Carpenter's Medal of Honor ceremony - underscored just how much the U.S. is still realizing the human cost of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, two wars the president pledged to end.

Under a portrait of George Washington, Obama reflected on the sacrifices young men and women continue to make in the name of safeguarding U.S. citizens and their values.

"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," Obama said.

The physical toll exacted by his act of heroism offered a sobering reminder of what was taken from Carpenter in the small Afghan village where he was wounded in 2010.

Carpenter required almost 40 surgeries and multiple skin grafts, Obama said, leaving him with a prosthetic eye, a new jaw and teeth, and "one hell of a smile."

His face still scarred from his injuries, Carpenter said that as the president placed the blue ribbon around his neck, he felt the history and weight of the nation - from the deadly trenches of World War I to the sounds of his fellow Marines calling for help by radio as they bled in the fields of Afghanistan.

"I accept this honor with a heavy heart," Carpenter told reporters after the ceremony. "Freedom is a powerful and beautiful thing."

Carpenter was barely 21 years old when he was assigned to guard a patrol base in a small village in Helmand province.

That's where he and Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio were assigned to provide security from a rooftop post, their presence concealed only by a circle of sandbags piled three to four high, the Marine Corps said.

Enemy forces, which had moved in while hidden by walls from a compound across the street, lobbed three grenades into the patrol base. One injured an Afghan National Army soldier. The second did not detonate.

The third landed close to Carpenter and Eufrazio.

Carpenter placed himself between the grenade and Eufrazio to shield him.

The blast deflected down, and Carpenter ended up absorbing most of the explosion.

Eufrazio received a head injury from shrapnel.

But Carpenter was severely wounded from head to toe, sustaining a depressed skull and a collapsed right lung, among a long list of other sustained injuries.

He was immediately evacuated and required brain surgery to remove shrapnel.

His heart flat-lined three times during treatment, Obama said, yet all three times doctors somehowmanaged to revive the young war hero.

"You displayed a valor in the blink of an eye that will inspire generations," Obama said of Carpenter's actions during the attack.

A Mississippi native, Carpenter was a patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, until his retirement for medical reasons last July.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 811f5f2d81d44ebaa30027db96022d50
Top Classifieds
  • ROCKY Mountain Mare - 8 yrs old - goo ... Details
  • Rottweiler Mastiff Mixed Pups - Mom h ... Details
  • FULL blooded healer pups-All shots/wo ... Details
  • Cocker Spaniel Pups.AKC (270)476-2580 ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • PILLOWTOP Mattress Sets, NEW in plast ... Details
  • Save Money on your Mortgage! No refin ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • 1994 Ardmore by Clayton 16x80 Must be ... Details
  • 1000 Wayside Dr 4BR, 3.5B $264,900270 ... Details
  • Office/Warehouse Updated Office with ... Details
  • BASEMENT home- 550 Oak Valley Rd - Ma ... Details
  • Lake Front Home 3,000 sq. ft., Kuttaw ... Details
  • 19'8" BASS TRACKER PRO - 27 ... Details
  • 2005 Ford Taurus, 115k miles, exc. co ... Details
  • 2012 Nissan Altima SL Coupe Nice! 28K ... Details
  • AMC SST '72 4 dr. sedan, Onlytw ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. Baseball series a hit for city
  2. Baseball series a hit for city
  3. Madison emergency official resigns after audit finds theft
  1. 6 officers indicted in Gray death
  2. 84-year-old Paducahan lands giant carp
  3. Suspect arrested on prescription drug charges
  1. Bible, Quran promote different approaches to life
  2. Baseball series a hit for city
  3. Baseball series a hit for city
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...