Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – Wednesday morning, the Batesburg-Leesville branch of the SC DMV was named after Congressional Medal of Honor recipient retired USMC Corporal Kyle Carpenter. The ceremony drew many dignitaries, active military and many veterans, as well as the Palmetto Patriot Guard Riders who attend most military related ceremonies as well as funerals to honor veterans. Carpenter also joked during the ceremony that he was honored that even his high school chemistry teacher had taken the time to come to the naming ceremony.
Kyle Carpenter will always be a US Marine. While serving in Afghanistan, Carpenter took the full force of an enemy hand grenade to save a fellow Marine. He was severely injured, but with the prayers and support of a loving family, many friends, and his fellow Marines, he fought his way back to health. Even though he lost an eye, most of his teeth, and has many other devastating injuries, he still considers himself blessed to have been able to serve a country he loves. President Barrack Obama presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Carpenter at the White House in 2014.
During the official portion of the ceremony, Carpenter spoke as a humble servant. He thanked others for being there and helping while he and his family were dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He spoke of friends and neighbors who collected their mail, cared for their dog, and did so much for them. Never once did he make reference to his sacrifices, other than to say when the explosion happened on that roof that fateful day, he thought that was it for him. In his remarks, Carpenter said, “I am so honored to be recognized by my community.” Wednesday, he was still what he was in Afghanistan that day, a person who doesn’t seek the limelight. He’s a person willing to sacrifice for others without thinking what he’ll be given in return.
The Corporal Kyle Carpenter office of the South Carolina DMV is located at 509 Liberty St, Batesburg-Leesville, SC.