Blocked Live Grenade: Hero to Receive Medal of HonorBy: Pam Wright - May 20, 2014
Carpenter, 24, was wounded Nov. 21, 2010, while guarding a patrol base in a small village in Helmand Province.
According to a Marine Corps summary of the action, Carpenter and Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio were on a roof providing security for the patrol base.
Three grenades were lobbed into the compound across the street from where Carpenter and Eufrazio were hidden behind a sandbag barrier. The first grenade injured an Afghan National Army soldier, and the second did not detonate.
The third landed close to Carpenter and Eufrazio. Without a thought to himself, Carpenter placed himself between the grenade and Eufrazio to shield him, and took the brunt of the explosion.
The hero was severely wounded with a depressed skull, a collapsed right lung, multiple facial fractures, the loss of a third of his lower jaw and fragment injuries to his arms and legs.
Thanks to the heroic efforts by Carpenter, Eufrazio only received a head injury from shrapnel.
A native of Flowood, Mississippi, Carpenter was immediately evacuated and underwent emergency brain surgery. He also lost his right eye.
Carpenter was a long-term patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, until he medically retired last July, and is currently a student at the University of South Carolina.
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