Medal Of Honor Recipient Kyle Carpenter Gets Standing Ovation At College Graduation

Community

Kyle Carpenter says he never went a day at the University of South Carolina without a professor or fellow student thanking him for his sacrifice as a U.S. Marine.


But he admits he also never encountered a moment more special than his last as a USC student, when thousands of his classmates and their families gave the 28-year-old Medal of Honor recipient a rousing standing ovation at graduation.

“That was one of the most incredible moments since I woke up at the hospital and realized I had a second chance at life,” Carpenter said Monday, minutes after receiving his bachelor’s degree in international studies.

Carpenter, from Gilbert, S.C., is best known for his throwing himself onto a live grenade in Afghanistan in 2010 to save a fellow Marine’s life. Miraculously, he survived, even though his heart stopped three times as doctors worked to save him.

The grenade blast took Carpenter’s right eye and injured his left, broke both his eardrums and shattered most of his teeth and lower jaw. He spent five weeks in a coma and the next two years in the hospital, undergoing dozens of surgeries to put his body back together.

Four years later, and a year after enrolling at USC in August 2013, he was awarded the nation’s highest military honor – the Medal of Honor – at 24 years old by then-President Barack Obama.

The award kicked off a new wave of publicity. He was featured on David Letterman and by virtually every major news outlet in America.

His grueling recovery was recounted in magazine features and in documentaries. He made the motivational speaking rounds, appearing before USC’s sports teams, veterans groups and Fortune 500 companies.

He backpacked across Europe, led Williams-Brice Stadium in a “Game-Cocks!” chant took an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., in 2015.

Meanwhile, his Instagram page – appropriately named @chiksdigscars – collected nearly half a million followers.

Carpenter isn’t sure what is in store for him as he hits the job market. He is sure he will continue his motivational speaking and working with veterans groups.

And he wants to say thank you, to his professors and his fellow students.

“My college experience was like everyone else’s. I learned a lot. I gained a new perspective on the world and on people that I’m so thankful and appreciative for,” Carpenter said. “I was first and foremost a fellow Gamecock and friend before a Medal of Honor recipient. I just had a four years that is too special to put into words.”

———

©2017 The State (Columbia, S.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

U.S. Marine Corps photo
(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.

Read More Show Less
(DoD/Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

President Donald Trump may have loved to call former Secretary of Defense James Mattis by his much-loathed "Mad Dog" nickname, but his own transition team had concerns regarding the former Marine general's infamous battlefield missives and his lackluster handling of alleged war crimes committed by U.S. service members, according to leaked vetting documents.

Read More Show Less

Beloved readers: It's been a rough week inside the Five-Sided Fun House as it looked like the United States and Iran were on a collision course until President Donald Trump aborted planned air and missile strikes at the eleventh hour.

As your beleaguered friend and narrator writes this, the Pentagon has not scheduled any briefings about how close the U.S. military was to attacking Iran, or even if those strikes have been called off or are on hold.

It would be nice to know whether we are at war or not. One would think the headquarters of the U.S. military would be a good place to find out. But the Trump administration has one spokesman: the president himself. His tweets have replaced Pentagon's briefings as the primary source for military news.

Read More Show Less
(DoD/Petty Officer William Selby)

Former Army Gen. David Petraeus, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan who resigned in disgrace as CIA director amid revelations of an extramarital affairs, was passed over by then-president-elect Donald Trump's transition team because of his criticism of torture, according to leaked vetting documents.

Read More Show Less