Marines Conduct MOH Flag Ceremony for Carpenter
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 20, 2014 Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos presented the Medal of Honor flag to medal recipient retired Marine Corps Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter in a ceremony at the Marine Barracks here today.
President Barack Obama yesterday presented Carpenter with the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s top honor, in a ceremony at the White House.
After presenting Carpenter with the flag, Amos told him to look over the audience.
“There are 4,400 Marines, all enlisted, who are here for you,” Amos told Carpenter. Carpenter’s Medal of Honor flag ceremony, Amos said, was only the second such event for a Marine. The first was for Dakota Meyer in 2011.
Paraphrasing what Carpenter said to him earlier, Amos told him, “You said, ‘I just did my duty. I did what all Marines are expected to do.’ This parade is for you, Kyle.”
As reported by American Forces Press Service, on Nov. 21, 2010, Taliban insurgents attacked Carpenter’s squad, part of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. Carpenter, the squad automatic rifleman for his fire team, and Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio were holding a rooftop security position when a hand grenade was thrown their way. Without hesitation, Carpenter reacted, rushing toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his brother-in-arms Eufrazio from the blast.
The flag ceremony at the Marine Corps’ oldest base included a full military parade on the Marine Barracks parade field and performances by the President’s Own Marine Band and the Commandant’s Own Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
Carpenter’s family members from South Carolina were in the audience, in addition to former Marines whom he’d served with and a group of fellow college students.
“This week has been almost like a dream,” Carpenter said as he looked over the audience from the parade field. “The most important thing that’s happened this week is not [receiving] the Medal of Honor -- it’s having all of you here.”
Referring to his Medal of Honor, Carpenter told Marines, “I truly mean it when I say I wear it for you.”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkAFPS)