A Marine credited with throwing himself on a grenade to save a buddy, suffering devastating injuries in so doing will become the third US marine of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to receive the Medal of Honor, the Marine Corps Times reports. William Kyle Carpenter, now a 24-year-old medically retired corporal, dove on a grenade as the pair stood guard on a rooftop in Afghanistan in November 2010. The explosion shattered his jaw, broke his arm in several places, cost him his right eye and most of his teeth, and forced him to undergo more than 30 surgeries, while his friend, Nicholas Eufrazio, also suffered a brain injury so bad that he wasn't able to speak until recently.
"Our feeling has always been that Kyle shielded Nick from that blast," Carpenter's platoon sergeant says, though the Marine Corps Times notes no one actually witnessed the explosion. Carpenter himself can't remember what happened—though last year he recalled "warm blood pouring out of me onto my skin and fading out of consciousness with my the final thought of 'I'm going to die' in my head," per Stars and Stripes. A triage worker who initially treated the pair, however, says the grenade's point of detonation was beneath Carpenter's torso and his injuries indeed indicated he covered it. "If he hadn't done it, what we found would have looked completely different."