My brother shared something a few days ago comparing a recently arrested felon who was gaining notoriety for his “model good-looks” displayed in his mugshot with Kyle Carpenter. It was disgusting to realize how much attention that dirtbag has gotten – even inspiring the trending #FelonCrushFriday hashtag on Twitter and Instagram – while there are huge numbers of Americans who are not aware of who Carpenter is or why he awarded the Medal of Honor last Thursday.
So for those of you who don’t know, the Medal of Honor is America’s highest military honor. It is “awarded by Congress to a member of the armed forces for gallantry and bravery in combat at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.” Only 3,468 men have been awarded the Medal of Honor since it was created in 1861. Lance Corporal Carpenter will be the 3,469th recipient.
In November, 2010, Carpenter and a fellow Marine were on post on a rooftop at a newly established base in Afghanistan. When insurgents launched a grenade attack at them, Carpenter dove on top of the grenade to in effort to save his partner’s life. He lost an eye and most of his jaw, shattered his right arm, and suffered a multitude of other severe injuries. He had to be resuscitated in the medevac chopper and flatlined when at Walter Reed. Carpenter’s sacrifice was selfless and courageous, and his survival is a miracle. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that he deserves the Medal of Honor.
Carpenter was 21 years old when he leapt on top of a live grenade. His life in the three years since then is a story of triumph, and a perfect depiction of his caliber as a man and as an American. It is because of men like him that America is the greatest nation on earth. (Go ahead and try to argue me on that one. I think it’s cute when people try.) After fighting his way through recovery, Carpenter has run the Marine Corps Marathon. He does more pull-ups than most of the men I’ve ever seen at the gym.
And he remains humble about all of it, protesting that, “We’re just a good old family from the middle of nowhere, South Carolina…I’m proud of what I did, but that doesn’t define me.”
Honor. Courage. Commitment. Those are the core values of the United States Marine Corps. Carpenter is the embodiment of all of that and more. He more than deserves a mention on “Man Crush Monday,” and he is certainly deserving of our nation’s highest honor.
…And as I told my brother in regards to the comparison between the “sexy felon” and one of our nation’s heroes:
“Just so you know, I’ve known who Kyle Carpenter is for ages, and would pay more money to have lunch with him than I would to have a 9mil and 5 minutes alone with McFelony.”
Although, if given the chance, I’d prefer to let Carpenter do the honors. I’m sure his marksmanship is far better than mine.
[If you’re interested in hearing more about Carpenter’s story, see the video in THIS article. I promise you, as someone who typically hates watching videos, it is worth all of its 7 minutes and more. You can also read THIS article for more information on Carpenter’s heroism in Afghanistan.]