The White House announced Monday that Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter will become the eighth living recipient to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for valor.
On Nov. 21, 2010, while on guard duty in the Marjah district of Afghanistan's Helmand province, Carpenter dove on a Taliban grenade to save another Marine.
His wounds were so severe that he was listed as "P-E-A" (Person Expired on Arrival) when the medical evacuation helicopter got him to the aid station.
Carpenter survived even though he flat-lined in the course of one of the 30 surgeries he endured during recovery.
Carpenter survived and on Monday the White House announced that he would be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama at a White House ceremony on June 19.
Carpenter, 24, of Flowood, Miss., will be the eighth living recipient of the nation's highest award for valor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will also be the third Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since Sept. 11, 2001.
In 2004, Corp. Jason Dunham, 22, of Scio, N.Y., died eight days after diving on a grenade in Iraq. Then-President George W. Bush posthumously awarded Dunham the Medal of Honor in 2006.
In September 2011, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Dakota Meyer for his actions in fighting off an ambush in Afghanistan's Kunar province in September 2009. Meyer was the first living Marine in 38 years to receive the MOH.
Carpenter, who was medically discharged as a corporal in July 2013, covered the grenade with his body to save another Marine on guard duty – his friend Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio. Both were serving with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines.
Carpenter lost his right eye and suffered multiple wounds and broken bones on the right side of his body from the shrapnel and blast of the grenade.
Eufrazio suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was struck by shrapnel and only recently began speaking again, the Marine Corps Times reported.
Carpenter is a full-time student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org