The Medal of Honor recipient has recuperated from his injuries and looks incredible.
On Nov. 21 2010, during the Battle of Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter of the United States Marine Corps threw himself on a grenade to shield his fellow Marine from a deadly blast.
The grenade wreaked incalculable damage on the 21-year-old marine's body, to the point that, upon arrival at Camp Bastion, he was declared PEA -- a military acronym for "Patient Expired on Arrival". He hadn't expired though, and even after flat-lining three times, Kyle Carpenter has come back each time, proving the legendary mettle of the U.S. Marines.
Considering the severe extent of his injuries, Kyle Carpenter is very fortunate to be alive. In a June 2014 interview with David Letterman, he talked openly about his injuries.
"I was confused, because the last thing I remembered, I was on top of a roof, and I didn't know if I had been patrolling and stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) and that was the last thing I could remember [...] The next thing I felt was warm water, it felt like warm water was being poured all over me from the blood loss."
It has been five years since the attack, and after almost 40 surgeries -- including operations on his legs and brain to remove shrapnel, jaw reconstruction and reconstructive ear surgery, just to name a few -- he looks better and seems healthier and happier than ever could have been expected.
A quick look at his Instagram account shows his progress from near death to full of life:
Here is one from his hospital bed:
And here's him visiting a large group of Zeta Tau Alphas:
A Humble Hero
At the five year anniversary of the attack, Lance Corporal Carpenter addressed a group of Marjah veterans.
"Be proud of who you are. Be proud of what you did in that country. You are alive today and have been blessed with this opportunity of life. Don't waste it. Live a life worth living, full of meaning and purpose, and one that will make the fallen who are looking down on us proud."
Kyle Carpenter would know all about a second lease on life, having been given one himself. Although he spent about three years in the hospital, he hasn't been idle since his recovery.
Here he is after a Washington Nationals baseball game in Washington, D.C., hanging out with his family and the Robertson family (from reality TV show Duck Dynasty).
Then there was that one time he parachuted into the Marine Corps marathon, like a total boss...and finished it.
And are you kidding me? He's holding a baby bunny.
Kyle Carpenter clearly has a bright future ahead of him.