US Marine Injured from Jumping on Grenade Has Powerful Message for Americans: ‘You Are Worth It’
Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter, who as a Marine corporal patrolling Afghanistan in 2010 dove on a grenade to save the lives of his fellow Marines, wants his new memoir to share the spirit that helped him recover from his injuries.
His book, “You Are Worth It: Building a Life Worth Fighting For,” was released Tuesday.
“I didn’t want only veterans or service members, or people that had been to combat, to only be able to take something from it. I wanted anyone to pick it up and not only be able to understand it, but to take lessons from it,” he said.
The book focuses less upon the incident that earned him the Medal of Honor — moments the since-retired Marine has said he does not fully recall — than on his long road to recovery.
“Many of the lessons and perspectives that I’ve discussed came because I was forced to search for those silver linings during those long dark and painful nights in the hospital,” Carpenter said.
“But now, I’m so thankful that I’ve had these amazing experiences from this bonus round that I’m living to tell people that it’s about perspective and how you look at things and that you can truly come back better and stronger than you were before … and come back smiling,” he added.
The book recounts the moments Carpenter realized that he was alive, according to Military.com.
“I’ve lost an eye. I’ve woken up with no teeth. I can’t feel my face. I can’t lift my arms,” Carpenter writes, recalling the time he woke up after sustaining his injuries.
“But … the more cognizant I became of the extent of my injuries, the more I realized what a miracle it was that I was alive at all,” he writes.
“I was motivated not to let my injuries, and, by extension, the Taliban, have any power over me — for the sake of every Marine who had gone before me, and those still fighting.”
During an interview with Military.com, Carpenter said he wants to share the spirit of the Marines with everyone he meets.
“I love when people approach me, and I’m honored and humbled when they tell me not only thank you, but when they stare and come over and talk to me about it,” he said. “I can educate people on my story and the stories of other Marines and what we do all around the world, and the sacrifices they make.”
“I can tell them we are happy and grateful and privileged and honored to raise our right hand and sacrifice for this country and that they are worth it. People who want to learn to read without fear of being killed, they are worth it. When people approach me, it’s awesome, because so much good comes out of it.”
A Uber driver named Bobby had thanked Carpenter for his service. For a reason Carpenter could not explain at the time, he replied, “You’re worth it.”
The book explains the rest.
“When Bobby told me ‘thank you for service’ and I responded ‘you are worth it,’ he looked at me in the rearview mirror for a while and he told me, my parents brought me here when I was very young from Pakistan,” Carpenter writes.
“I’ll never experience the hardships they had faced. I got an amazing education. And I’m so thankful to live in what I feel like is the greatest country in the world,” the book says.
“So when I got out of that Uber ride, I really reflected on that moment and I wanted him to know that his family, the hardships that they faced. They are worth it.”
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.