INSIDE THE PAINSTAKING RECOVERY PROCESS OF A MEDAL OF HONOR MARINE
Six years ago this month Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter suffered grievous wounds after shielding another Marine from a grenade blast in Afghanistan. Somehow, he survived. This is the story of his remarkable recovery.
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She faced discrimination then, and she can handle the presumptions now. She is proud of her service, and doesn’t regret it, regardless of the invisible injuries it caused.
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He feels guilty sometimes too about some of what he did and saw, but unless he’s had a drink or two, he doesn’t talk about that stuff.
He quietly departed his village alone and traveled to Kabul, where he began sleeping on the floor of a friend’s apartment. Without a job, he couldn’t afford to bring his wife and daughter with him, so they remained with Zabi’s father, who swore to protect them.
The Marine Corps taught me that despair and violence was renewing. In boot camp I shouted “kill” 100 times a day, and went to two church services back-to-back on Sundays. I prayed to kill. It would mark me, and yes, I believed, it would save me.
The reality, I think, is that I made no difference at all. They were never going to understand American-style policing. As long as the Afghans thought it was OK to treat women like property, like killing a woman was equivalent to killing a goat, then they were never going to understand higher-level concepts like voting, or free speech, or feminism.
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Wars were small, quick affairs involving special operators, U.N. peacekeepers and long-range bombers. A decade later, I found myself going back and forth with an antiwar protestor after covering a rally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the student newspaper. I was learning an early lesson in journalism: admit personal views at your own risk.
Read Derrick and Ian's story.
Alyssa’s teacher took her to the counselor’s office where Veronica was waiting. “My mom looked at me and told me Papi wasn’t coming home,” Alyssa said. “I didn’t know what she meant. She just looked at me and said, ‘He died.’”
Things were the same for Anthony, who was three. He walked into pre-school that morning expecting good news. Instead, he was told he’d never see his father again.
HOW KYLE CARPENTER CAME BACK FROM DEATH
His fellow Marines, doctors and his family questioned whether he would survive, or if he did, what his quality of life would be. This is the story of his recovery.
Our detailed standards for trauma reporting are inspired by The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
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