COLUMBIA, SC — The Gilbert Marine who will be awarded the Medal of Honor next month for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, will attend a luncheon on Wednesday honoring South Carolina soldiers who died while serving their country.
Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, 24, was wounded when he threw himself on a grenade to save a friend and fellow Marines life. The young corporal lost his right eye and most of his teeth. His jaw and right arm were shattered and he has undergone dozens of surgeries.
Carpenter will be the special guest at the luncheon hosted by state Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, according to a news release for the event.
Carpenter is the third Marine to receive the Medal of Honor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the first South Carolinian to receive the decoration since the Vietnam War. He will be the eighth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The event will honor two S.C. soldiers who died while serving. Captain James E. Chaffin, III, 27, of West Columbia, died April 1, 2014 in Kandahar, Afghanistan of a non-combat related incident. U.S. Army Spc. Embert Alt, 21, of Beech Island, died June 1, 2013 in Bagram, Afghanistan, of wound caused by indirect fire.
"Our State laid to rest two American heroes, who died in service to our Country, Shealy said in the news release. "It is important that we never forget their ultimate sacrifices and always honor their families."
Senator Shealy and members of House and Senate who represent the districts of the deceased Fallen Soldiers will present certificates from the General Assembly, the South Carolina Palmetto State Hero Commendation, and a South Carolina State Flag flown over the State House to the families of the American heroes.
The event will be held for the South Carolina Congressional Delegation, South Carolina Constitutional Officers and the members of the South Carolina State Senate at 12:30 p.m. at the Capital City Club in Columbia.