William Kyle Carpenter is a United States marine who retired from medicine. Kyle
received the military honor in 2010. Carpenter’s military honor is the highest in the United
States. Among all individuals that have been awarded a military honor, William is the youngest.
Corporal Kyle received the military honor after his act in Afghanistan (Greenbaum, 2015).
Carpenter joined the Marine Corps in 2009 when he was 19. In July 2009, Kyle completed
Recruit Training. After the medical treatment, William enrolled in the University of South
Carolina. Carpenter studied international studies and graduated in 2017.
Carpenter received an award after he jumped on a grenade on November 2010. Two
reinforced Marine groups were sent to Afghanistan. The group was to team up with Afghan
National Army squad. Kyle was part of the Marines who were to protect the Marjah village.
Two days before, the Marines had established the Patrol Base Dakota. William was manning a
rooftop with another Marine, Nick Eufrazio in Marjah Village. The two were protecting the
village from the Taliban attack. The enemy plotted a hand grenade, and Kyle tried to shield other
Marines from the explosion. The grenade detonated, and Kyle was severely wounded. William
jumped on the grenade to protect others from the deadly ballast (Greenbaum, 2015). Lance
Corporal Carpenter lost his right eye and his right arm was shattered. Kyle underwent several
surgeries until 2013 when he medically retired. After his medical treatment, William received the
Medal of Honor in June 2014. The president awarded him the medal in White House where there
was a ceremony. In the United States, Lance Corporal Carpenter is the eight individual alive
receive the medal.
Through William’s Afghanistan tragedy, I have learned the virtue of being selfless.
William jumped on the grenade to protect his fellow Marines without thinking about his safety.
Thus, Carpenter was selfless since he got injured trying to shield the other Marines from the
deadly blast. Selfless people often think about the well-being of others. When people are selfless,
the act benefits everyone. For instance, Lance Corporal Carpenter saved the lives of his fellow
Marines (Greenbaum, 2015). Without his act, the deadly blast would probably cause more harm
to the Marines. Additionally, individuals who think about others are happier. Hence, generous
people are influenced to prioritize others, and they are happier. On the other hand, helping others
makes people feel good. Kindness gives individuals a purpose, materialism and selfishness fail to
make people feel the sense of fulfillment. The happiest people in the world are givers and
helpers. For example, William’s act made people consider him a hero. Thus, he was awarded the
Medal of Honor, which made him happy. Also, Kyle received praise from most people in the
United States due to his selfless. Hence, I have learned that being a helper is rewarding part from
making one happy. In addition, people who are kind and generous have deeper connections.
People often express gratitude to those who help them. For instance, the President of the United
States, Barrack Obama awarded Carpenter with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the
White House (Greenbaum, 2015). While Kyle was in hospital still undergoing treatment, the
marines would often visit him. At times he did not want them to see him in his critical condition.
William was not self-conscious but he did not want the Marines to think that they would get
injured like him after deploying back to Afghanistan. Additionally, William did not want the
Marines to worry about him but rather to focus on the mission. After receiving the Medal of
Honor, William did not think that he deserved it. During an interview, William believed that the
Medal of Honor did not only represent his act but also everyone that helped him (Kindy, 2020).
Kyle mentioned that the award represented the people of Afghanistan, the Marines, the United
States, and the soldiers in World War 11. Carpenter also dedicated his award to his family and all
the individuals around the world that thirst for freedom. Although Carpenter risked his life in
Afghanistan and received the Medal of Honor, he was not selfish about the ward. Hence, it
shows that he is selfless and always thinks of others before him. William was humbled that the
United States recognized him. Thus, selflessness is a great virtue that I have learned from
William Kyle Carpenter. I will emulate him in my life. Also, I will ensure that I think of other’s
interests without expecting rewards. I will focus on making a positive impact on people’s lives.
In general, I will practice kindness and generosity.
Another important virtue that I have learned is being hopeful. William’s medical
treatment shows that he was fighter and did not lose hope. After shielding other Marines from
the grenade, Kyle suffered grievous wounds. The marines thought that Kyle would not survive
because he was badly wounded. William’s head was double the normal size due to the blast.
Doctors in Afghanistan had wrapped his head in gauze to curb the effects of the explosion.
Additionally, Carpenter had undergone an emergency brain surgery after the blast. William was
flown in Germany for further treatment. Kyle had tubes protruding all over his body such as the
limbs, neck, and abdomen. Carpenter’s mother only recognized him due to the hospital staff.
Although Kyle had body armor, the explosion left wounds on his right arm, shredded his face,
and his lung collapsed. Carpenter’s face had split into separate flaps of fresh. After the blast,
Kyle’s chest was heaving as he gasped for breath. Also, his arm was shattered while his eye
almost popped out of the socket. After the blast, the Navy medical corpsman, inserted a tube in
his nostrils to help him breathe. For a moment he struggled to talk and asked whether he was
going to die. The Marines reminded him of life at home which made him become more stable.
The stories about his home contributed to him being hopeful that he would survive. When the
medics were transferring him from Afghanistan, they did their best to keep him stable. At some
point, his heart stopped and the team revived him. The medical team managed to get him stable.
Their main goal was to get him alive to Germany where carpenter would receive treatment.
Carpenter was in a critical condition and had to undergo various surgeries. Due to the blast, his
arteries and veins were affected and the vascular surgeons had to repair them. The medics also
focused on preserving tissue and preventing blood loss. Hence, Williams’s medical treatment
was a challenging.
Carpenter received treatment in Germany and was later flown to the United Sates. The
flight to America took 12 hours. The plane had two intensive-care bays and one belonged to
another wounded Marine, Ryan Craig. William was taken to Walter Reed where the medics
would rebuild him. At the moment, Kyle was in coma, which had been induced medically. After
arriving in Walter reed the chief of trauma surgery examined Carpenter. William underwent a
CAT scan and an angiogram to ensure that sufficient blood was flowing to the injured parts.
Additionally, numerous x-rays were conducted before Kyle’s treatment strategy. The medics
planned for his weekly surgeries. The surgeries repaired his bones, soft tissue and skin grafts.
Dering the surgeries; William had to take a lot of drugs. For the purpose of boosting morale, the
medical team focused on small successes. Carpenter had psychological issues after he was out of
the haze. In 2011 spring, Kyle spoke for the first time in a clear mind. He said he was in much
pain but he was still positive that he would recover. Also, William got out of the bed for the first
time. Everyone cheered him in the hallway as he walked for the first time after the explosion.
Corporal Kyle was in a lot of pain but showed bravery by walking. The pain did not limit him
from moving. Carpenter was in treatment for another one year.
Through William’s medical treatment I will emulate the art of not giving up. Kyle was in
hospital for a long time but he was brave. He believed that everything would turn out well after a
while. Despite his pain, he still fought for his life in the hospital. When the Marines would visit
him, he would tell them not to worry about him that he would recover. In addition, I have learned
that being hopeful is a critical virtue. With a hopeful mindset, people attract positivity. For
instance, after the blast, Kyle was injured and his state was unknown. However, during the
medical treatment, he was hopeful. After a while, William recovered from his critical condition.
Thus, Kyle learned that there is hidden potential within him. Carpenter managed to walk for the
first time despite his pain. I will ensure that I do not give up in everything that I work on. No
matter how much I fail, I will still keep going. Also, I have learned that self-encouragement
plays a vital role in all situations. William recovered because he would remind himself
constantly that everything will be okay. Overall, the virtue of not giving up is essential in life.
I have also the learned the art of gratitude through Carpenter’s story. During a certain
interview, Carpenter narrated his experience and thanked everyone that had helped him (Kindy,
2020). William appreciated his fellow Marines for always being by his side in the hospital.
Additionally, Kyle thanked his parents who supported him during his journey. He mentioned that
he did not know how to appreciate his parents. They would take turns to visit him in hospital
even when he was in a coma. Also, Carpenter mentioned the medical team that worked hard to
ensure that he recovered. William mentioned that his fellow Marines played a huge part in his
survival. After the blast, the Marine saved his life through stabilizing him until he got to hospital.
Carpenter further explained that the marines still remained in his life after the recovery. They
were his best friends and helped him deal with his mental health issues. Carpenter invited all the
people that had helped him in the ceremony where he received the Medal of Honor. Carpenter
did not leave out that team that admitted him to the University of Southern Carolina. William did
not any of them to miss the event just to appreciate them. Kyle invited the Marines, the doctors,
his Marine instructors, his family, all the people that were in his life during medical treatment.
Kyle appreciating all the individuals who helped him shows that he values them. Appreciation is
a powerful virtue, which makes people happy. People are motivated when others show gratitude.
Appreciating people shows that one recognizes their efforts. Also, individuals are inspired to
help others. Apart from boosting morale, appreciating others shows respect. Thus, I will emulate
William’s virtue of gratitude in my life. I will learn to appreciate people who support me even in
the small milestones.
William showed that he is positive, which is an art that I will emulate. After his recovery,
he joined the University of South Carolina. Hence, Carpenter still believed that life had more
opportunities for him. Kyle mentioned that the experience turned into a life lesson. William does
not regret jumping into the explosion. Although at times William wakes up in pain, he
appreciates that he is alive. Carpenter thinks that each day is an opportunity, and people should
use it to make them better. The grenade left him physically and emotionally hurt, but it made him
stronger. During an interview, carpenter mentioned that he is stronger than before (Kindy, 2020).
In addition, he mentioned that his greatest fear is regret. Carpenter revealed that helping others
makes him happy. Also, William wants to do things that will make him live life well. However,
at times people mention to him that they would never do what he did. Kyle responds that it is not
all about jumping on a grenade, but helping others. Carpenter advises people that it is the little
things that matter and life is all about impacting others positively. William believes that the
tough times taught him important lessons in life. Kyle also mentioned that people should learn to
see the best in people. Since Carpenter recovered, he has been inspiring others through
interviews and books. Kyle has attended interviews where he inspires people who are going
through tough times. William uses his experience to help others become positive about life.
Carpenter wrote a book that motivates people to fight through their challenges. Apart from
studying International Relations, William has indulged in in many activities, for instance,
marathon and skydiving. Whatever comes in Carpenter’s way, he makes sure that he does the
best. Hence, positivity helps humans cope with negative thoughts and worries. In addition,
positivity makes people happy and helps them cope with daily affairs. I will emulate the virtue of
positivity in my life. Overall, positivity plays a vital role in people’s lives.
In conclusion, William was awarded the Medal of Honor due to his act in Afghanistan.
Through his experience I have learned the virtue of gratitude, being positive, helping others, and
selflessness. I will emulate him and deploy the virtues in my daily life to make myself better.
Greenbaum, A. (2015). The War Documentary: Restrepo and the Synecdoche of Masculinity.
In The Tropes of War: Visual Hyperbole and Spectacular Culture (pp. 30-39). Palgrave
Kindy. D. (2020, March) Kyle Carpenter: Worth It. HISTORY NET.