Corporal William Kyle Carpenter was initiated into the Chi-Omega Chapter at the University of South Carolina on October 27, 2013, but he is far from the typical college undergraduate. Brother Carpenter is a medically retired Marine who received the military’s highest honor for heroic actions while on deployment in Afghanistan.
Brother Carpenter received the Medal of Honor from President Obama on June 19, 2014, in a special ceremony held at the White House in Washington D.C. for his service in Afghanistan where he suffered injuries while protecting a fellow Marine from an enemy grenade. The blast left Brother Carpenter without his right eye and most of his teeth. It also shattered his right arm and jaw and forced him to have dozens of surgeries.
“The man you see before you today, Corporal William Kyle Carpenter, should not be alive today,” said President Obama in remarks at the Medal of Honor ceremony. “But we are here because this man, this United States Marine, faced down that terrible explosive power, that unforgiving force, with his own body — willingly and deliberately — to protect a fellow Marine. When that grenade exploded, Kyle Carpenter’s body took the brunt of the blast.  His injuries were called “catastrophic.”  It seemed as if he was going to die.  While being treated, he went into cardiac arrest, and three times, he flat lined. Three times, doctors brought him back.”
Receiving the Medal of Honor at age 24 made Brother Carpenter the youngest living recipient of the award.
Watch Brother Carpenter Receive the Medal of Honor

After three years of intense rehabilitation, Brother Carpenter entered as a student at the University of South Carolina in fall 2013. Having known nothing but life as a Marine, Brother Carpenter looked for a way to ease into college life. This is where Kappa Sigma comes in.
“I go in, guys are watching sports, joking around, messing with each other eating dinner, and it was just an incredible atmosphere from the second I stepped into the house,” said Brother Carpenter referencing his first evening at rush. “Ever since then, my transition to the University of South Carolina has been incredible. I wish I could hit replay on this past year and I very much credit that to Kappa Sig.”
On July 18, 2014, Brother Carpenter became the 24th recipient of Kappa Sigma’s Golden Heart award.  The Supreme Executive Committee presented the award to Brother Carpenter at the East Leadership Conference in New Orleans. The Golden Heart award is given to Brothers who have shown extreme courage or bravery in their life.

Kyle Carpenter

Brother Carpenter displays the Golden Heart Award surrounded by the Supreme Executive Committee

“Brother Carpenter’s act is an act of a hero and a patriot,” said Worthy Grand Master Hugh M. Robert (Mu-Epsilon, University of Tulsa, ’95). “It’s also the act of a brother of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity who understands the words of the Star and Crescent and who understands the importance of protecting their fellow man even when they place themselves in jeopardy.”
The man who Brother Carpenter saved when jumping on the grenade is Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, whom Brother Carpenter calls his best friend.
“When you wake up in the mornings it’s really the simple things of life. When you wake up in the mornings be thankful that you can be a part of a Fraternity; be thankful that you can get that education; be thankful that you know when you go to class you don’t have to worry about the guy to the right and left of you not making it back alive.”
Brother Carpenter’s awards include the Purple Heart Medal, the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal International Security Assistance Force, and now the Medal of Honor.
Today, Brother Carpenter continues as a student at the University of South Carolina, but also travels the country as a motivational speaker telling his story of overcoming hardships to continue in life.
“We’re part of a great organization and we’re part of a great team and we’re part of a great fraternity,” said Brother Carpenter.
Follow Brother Carpenter on Twitter.
Watch Brother Carpenter Accept the Golden Heart Award