When a stranger thanks Kyle Carpenter for his service as a U.S. Marine, his automatic reply is, “you are worth it.” Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2009, he served for more than a year in Helmand Province, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, when he and his fellow Marines came under attack. In an act of extraordinary sacrifice, Carpenter threw himself on a grenade to save those around him. Regaining consciousness briefly and realizing the extent of his injuries, as he drifted back into unconsciousness, he was sure he was taking his last breath. Thankfully, he was wrong. Kyle woke up 5 weeks later at Walter Reed hospital, where he would learn that large parts of his face, head and right arm had been destroyed and needed to be reconstructed and he’d have a long road to recovery. Still, he was alive and grateful. Now the youngest living recipient of the US military’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor, in today’s conversation, Kyle shares his extraordinary journey, his deep sense of service, love of people, family and his fellow Marines, what happened on that fateful day, along with his yearslong road to rehabilitation, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually, his reclamation of life and hope, and the legacy of kindness and service he is working to build and his desire to help inspire people to embrace life. Much of this is also documented in his moving memoir, You Are Worth It.
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