Kyle Carpenter earned the Medal of Honor. But when he came home, his Mom was the hero (2024)

In thinking of Mother's Day we are reminded of the uniquechallengesthat facemilitary Moms. Thisis a story told by the husband of one special military Mom about how she braved the near-loss of theirson andhelped him cope with seeing their boy come home gravely wounded.

Their son, Marine veteran Kyle Carpenter,was awarded the Medal of Honor for smotheringa live grenade tossed by enemy forcesto save a buddy during combat in 2010 in Afghanistan. He suffered severe injuries throughout his body, including his face and right arm. Helost his right eye. His father, Jim Carpenter, provided an audience at a recent charity event for the Fisher House Foundation with a glimpse at how loved ones endure such a terrible trial.His wife, Robin, was at his side as he spokeof seeing his son, in a coma, for the first time after he was wounded. And he told of how it was a mother's love that provided healing strength for Kyle — and for him.

Here's a portion of his comments:

You will not find any stronger advocates of the Fisher House than Robin and I. Everywhere we go, we're always touting the Fisher House because, honestly, we lived in it for almost two and a half years — so we know firsthand the benefits and what it does for the families and the service members out there.

When Kyle finally arrived from Germany on that Sunday night, he came off that ambulance and I did not get a chance to see him. They took him up to ICU and, I don't' know, several hours up in the wee hours of the morning — two, three 3 o'clock —we finally got a chance to see him

I could not deal with it, I mean that was not my son lying there, that was not Kyle and it devastated me to no end and I had to be escorted out of the room. The nurses took me out. They didn't take me out of ICU — they took me all the way out into the hallway. They put me in daddy's time out. I was a basket case, all right?

But, I never will forget looking back as I left the room and Robin was up over that bed rail leaning down over Kyle and whispering to him. And I'm sure she was whispering to him, you know, "Hey, Mama's here – it's going to be OK. Everything is going to be all right."

And, you know, Mama makes everything OK. We know that. And that was the beginning of his healing. Just as important as healing those shattered bones and broken and torn and burned skin is the emotional and mental healing as well. That's just as important. And that was started right there.

And I couldn't go into his room, until that Wednesday, until she finally made me go in there. And he knew we were there, deep in that coma — that, when she talked to him you could tell that his heart would go up on that monitor.

Kyle Carpenter earned the Medal of Honor. But when he came home, his Mom was the hero (1)

Jim Carpenter comforts his son, Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter early in his recovery.

Photo Credit: via DoD

I finally went in there and I stayed on the edge of his bed a couple of days and I finally made my way up to the bed; I mean it was that difficult for me. But God made her strong for him until I had the strength to go in there.

Note: Kyle Carpenter was not at the event. He was busy taking final exams at the University of South Carolina.

To view a story on Kyle's letters home, go here:

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Kyle Carpenter earned the Medal of Honor. But when he came home, his Mom was the hero (2024)


Why did Kyle Carpenter get the Medal of Honor? ›

On June 19, 2014, Kyle was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama for his self-sacrificing act of valor. Kyle is the youngest living recipient of the Medal of Honor, our nation's highest military award for valor.

Who is the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter? ›

While serving in Afghanistan, Kyle and a fellow Marine were manning a rooftop security position when they were attacked by hand grenades. Without thinking, Kyle fearlessly moved toward the grenade and shielded his friend from the deadly blast. He survived the attack and saved his partner's life.

What are some fun facts about Kyle Carpenter? ›

William "Kyle" Carpenter (born October 17, 1989) is a medically retired United States Marine who received the United States' highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2010. Kyle Carpenter was the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient at the time.

When did Kyle Carpenter get blown up? ›

The thick steel body of the grenade flexed and swelled before exploding and tearing flesh and bone from Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter's face. The date was November 21, 2010. The place was Marjah, Afghanistan.

Has anyone received 2 Medal of Honors? ›

Can someone receive more than one Medal of Honor? Yes. There have been 19 servicemen who have received two Medals of Honor.

What is the rarest Medal of Honor? ›

The "Tiffany Cross" was not a popular award and is the rarest of all Medals of Honor in existence. In 1942, it was dropped from the Medal of Honor profile and the Navy returned to its original Medal of Honor as the only design awarded.

Who was the 17 year old Medal of Honor winner? ›

It's also the first ship named for Jacklyn H. Lucas, who, at age 17, became the Marine Corps' youngest Medal of Honor recipient and the youngest recipient of World War II. Erik Raven, under secretary of the Navy, delivered the Oct. 7 commissioning ceremony's principal address.

Who is alive with Medal of Honor? ›

How many living recipients are there today? As of January 2024, there are 63 living recipients. Did you know you can write them each a letter during our annual Mail Call?

What 14 year old Marine won the Medal of Honor? ›

Miraculously, PFC Lucas survived the blast and was presented the Medal of Honor from President Truman at the White House on Friday, 5 October 1945. PFC Lucas is the youngest Marine ever to receive the Medal of Honor and the youngest of any branch of the military since the Civil War.

Who was on the roof with Kyle Carpenter? ›

On November 21, 2010, Carpenter and another Marine, Nick Eufrazio, were manning a rooftop security post during defense of the village of Marjah, Helmand Province from a Taliban attack.

When did Kyle Carpenter retire? ›

After receiving numerous surgeries, Corporal Carpenter was medically retired from the Marine Corps in July 2013, and he was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 19, 2014.

Who was the guy who jumped on a grenade? ›

in World War II, U.S. Marine Jack Lucas, in the Battle of Iwo Jima, leapt onto an enemy grenade, jamming it into the volcanic ash and soft sand with his rifle and covering it with his body, while reaching out and pulling the other one beneath him.

Who is the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient? ›

Kyle Carpenter — Youngest Living Medal of Honor Recipient.

Who was the youngest recipient of the Medal of Honor? ›

But the youngest to ever receive the medal received it shortly after the Medal of Honor was created, at only eleven years old. In this lesson, we will explore the story of the youngest Medal of Honor recipient ever, Willie Johnston.

Why did he receive the Medal of Honor? ›

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Recipients receive the Medal of Honor from the President on behalf of Congress.

How did Kyle White get the Medal of Honor? ›

After the battle, paperwork regarding a potential Medal of Honor awarding was delayed in the Pentagon. On May 14, 2014, White received the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony, for administering life-saving medical aid to comrades and for radioing situational reports; that battle resulted in five soldiers (1st Lt.

Why did Forest get a Medal of Honor? ›

Forrest later receives the Medal of Honor for his bravery in Vietnam.

Who was the youngest soldier to receive the Medal of Honor? ›

Only the second recipient of the award, William ''Willie'' Johnston is also the youngest ever. As an eleven-year-old drummer, he endured the brutal Seven Days' Battle of 1862, which saw the Union Army defeated several times.

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