During a Feb. 13 event commemorating the five-year anniversary of the Battle of Marjah — a massive 2010 battle in southwestern Afghanistan — Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Kyle Carpenter addressed the Marines in attendance at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia.
Gravely wounded while covering a grenade with his body in the Marjah district in 2010, Carpenter spoke not as the highly decorated Marine that he is, but as a veteran of a battle that would claim the lives of 78 American and British service members. His message was simple and direct — he said that the courage of all those who served, fought, and bled in that city was reflected in the award he bore — that it was not something that belonged to him, but shared by all.
“I really struggled with the idea that I would, not have to, but most likely be encouraged to wear my medal. And I say struggled because, let me just say that I don’t want to wear this. I don’t like wearing this,” said Carpenter, according to a Marine Times report. “But I do because, you know, if I can inform one person of what we do and what we’re about, or what we sacrificed over there, I do it for that. I wear it for all of you.”