Last week, Corporal Kyle Carpenter received the military's highest honor the Medal of Honor. At 24, he is the youngest person to receive this award for his efforts in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2010. He saved a fellow marine by falling onto a grenade. Both marines were severely injured, but because of Corporal Carpenter's actions, both marines survived. As a result of his actions, he lost an eye and much of his jaw, but his spirits remained. And despite 30 surgeries to save his arm, he is able to do pull-ups and throw out first pitches, like he did at the June 22nd Padres game. He also ran the Marine Corps Marathon last year. None of his friends are surprised that's just who he is. According to Marine Veteran and blogger Brian Adam Jones, This whole image of him with the scars that he embraces. He's such a rugged figure. He's a Marine's Marine. Currently, he's medically retired and now is a student at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in physical education.
The Medal of Honor was originally created during the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. It was created to honor the men whose actions stood out from the rest while fighting the enemy. In 1863 Congress made the Medal of Honor a permanent decoration and on March 3rd, Army officers were eligible for the award. The Secretary of War first presented the honor to six Union Army volunteers on March 25, 1863. It wasn't until 1915 that the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard were eligible for the award.
Other awards were created to honor those who stepped up, but didn't quite achieve Medal of Honor status. World War II brought new attention to the Medal of Honor and the renewed prestige and rising number of members caused the formation of the Medal of Honor Society. Due to its status, there is special protection against unauthorized representation, use, and sale of the Medal of Honor. The President awards the honoree or their relatives if given the award posthumously in a ceremony. Corporal Carpenter received an extra surprise at his ceremony, meeting Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, who he ran into wandering the halls of the White House.
The Medal of Honor Flag is light blue field emblazoned with 13 white five-pointed stars and is fringed in gold.It wasn't until October 23, 2002 that the flag was authorized for the recipients of the award. 19 people have been awarded the medal twice. The last time this occurred was 1918. This year, Congress followed suit and check to see if anyone was overlooked for the award due to prejudices of any kind 24 individuals were upgraded from Distinguished Service Crosses to the Medal of Honor in addition to the 7 from 1993, 22 in 2000, and 1 in 2005.
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