Kyle Carpenter : Medal of Honor Recipient & Author
Speaker Nov. 8, 2023 - While serving as a Marine rifleman in Afghanistan at age 20, on the morning of November 21st, 2010, Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter’s squad was attacked by Taliban forces. During the attack, a live grenade landed between Kyle and a fellow Marine. In a courageous act to save his fellow Marine, Kyle threw himself on the grenade.
Kyle’s injuries were severe – he was unconscious for five weeks and spent over two and a half years recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He had lost his right eye, most of his lower jaw and teeth, and his right arm was broken in 30 places. He went through roughly 40 surgeries during his recovery. During this grueling recovery process, Kyle’s spirit remained strong. He set several post-recovery goals for himself: run a marathon, earn a college degree, backpack through Europe, and go skydiving. After nearly three years of recovery, Kyle was released from the hospital at age 24 and has since been able to accomplish every post-recovery goal and many more. And 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 country’s highest military honor.
In 2019, Kyle published his autobiography, You are Worth It: Building A Life Worth Fighting For. It not only tells the story of the events leading up to November 20, 2010 and the recovery period which followed, but it is also a story of rebirth and overcoming adversity, of how Kyle battled back from the gravest challenge to forge a life of joyful purpose. In the words of General Jim Mattis “Kyle Carpenter’s memoir of gallantry beyond the call of duty provides a vivid reminder that grit and valor remain American hallmarks.”
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Kyle’s military awards include a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, NATO Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon and a Purple Heart, the award for which he is most proud.