William Kyle Carpenter is a U.S. Marine who is being hailed as a real life superhero for what he did to save one of his fellow Marines.
William was only 21 years-old when he earned the rank of Lance Corporal, and he was sent over to fight in Afghanistan in 2010.
During a battle, William saw a grenade land right next to him and one of his fellow Marines. Without hesitating, William jumped onto the grenade so that he could save the other soldier’s life.
“I found that something in the United States Marine Corps,” William recalled on his website. “And while October 19, 1989 is my birthday, it was November 21, 2010 that became my ‘Alive Day.’”
William was left with very serious injuries from the blast of the grenade. The bones of his face and skull were shattered and he lost part of his jaw. One of his lungs also collapsed, and he had shrapnel all over his body.
“I said a quick prayer and let the strangely peaceful tiredness, from the blood loss, consume me,” William said. “I went to sleep for what I thought was going to be the last time on this earth.”
Against all the odds, William managed to survive.
“The next thing I remember is waking up to the sight of Christmas stockings on a wall and snow covering a hospital room window at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland,” he explained. “That was five weeks after ‘falling asleep.’”
William endured 40 surgeries over the next two years, and he was then awarded the Medal of Honor by Barack Obama.
Despite all the praise he has gotten, William does not see himself as a hero.
“But most importantly, I’ve been given the chance to share my story with others. It’s not the story of a hero – but the story of an ordinary man placed in an extraordinary situation,” William said. “I want my story to help others see what’s extraordinary in themselves; to see how small acts of gratitude and kindness can change the world around them, and how we can all be part of something bigger than ourselves.”
William may not see himself as a hero, but that is exactly what he is. God bless you, William, and thank you for your service.