In this rare look inside the White House, we get a chance to see some of what goes into the preparation for a White House Medal of Honor ceremony. The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor awarded by the United States of America. Corporal Kyle Carpenter, USMC, received the MOH for his actions in Afghanistan, when he quickly moved toward a live grenade in an effort to shield his fellow Marine.
As the two Marines manned a rooftop security position in Helmand province, the enemy launched a daytime attack. When Carpenter realized that a live grenade had landed inside their sandbagged position, he immediately moved toward it to shield his partner. Carpenter absorbed most of the blast with his body. Both Marines survived the attack, but with major injuries. Carpenter lost his right eye and most of his teeth, and his jaw and right arm were shattered. He has undergone dozens of surgeries as a result of his injuries.
The White House Medal of Honor ceremony is usually attended by other living Medal of Honor recipients, by members of the honoree’s unit and his family members, and other distinguished guests.
Despite the celebration of their heroism, the presentation is often difficult for the recipient. As the award citation is read aloud, he is required to relive what is likely one of the worst days of his life. But these men are our nation’s heroes, and they deserve to be recognized as such.
Thank you, Cpl Carpenter, for your exemplary service to our nation. May you serve as an example for generations coming after you. Semper Fi, Marine.