A Conversation With Kyle Carpenter
On-Site Experience: Tuesday, April 13 | 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM ET
Virtual Experience: Friday, April 30 | 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET
For many of us, 2020 offered challenges like we have never experienced. As we begin to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic, how do we overcome the adversity we’ve faced and restore balance to our work and personal lives? Kyle Carpenter was severely wounded in the Helmand province of Afghanistan in 2010 when he threw himself upon a live grenade to shield his friend and fellow Marine during a rooftop attack. Both men were severely wounded but survived due to Kyle’s bravery. He spent nearly three years in the hospital and endured roughly 40 surgeries to reconstruct his head, face and arms. Kyle’s strength and perseverance during this process were unwavering as he went on to achieve incredible post-recovery goals to include running a marathon, earning a college degree, skydiving and backpacking through Europe. He was awarded our nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, in 2014 by President Barack Obama. In this Spring’s Inspirational Keynote, war hero and Medal of Honor recipient, Kyle Carpenter, will share his inspiring story of overcoming adversity and succeeding in your new normal. He will draw on his experiences through this harrowing ordeal as an example of overcoming adversity, spreading positive motivation, and lessons of leadership.
About Corporal Kyle Carpenter
While serving as a Marine rifleman in Afghanistan at age 20, on the morning of November 21st, 2010,
Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter’s squad was attacked by Taliban forces. During the attack, a live grenade
landed between Kyle and a fellow Marine. In a courageous act to save his fellow Marine, Kyle threw
himself on the grenade.
Kyle’s injuries were severe – he was unconscious for five weeks and spent over two and a half years
recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He had lost his right
eye, most of his lower jaw and teeth, and his right arm was broken in 30 places. He went through roughly
40 surgeries during his recovery. During this grueling recovery process, Kyle’s spirit remained strong. He
set several post-recovery goals for himself: run a marathon, earn a college degree, backpack through
Europe, and go skydiving. After nearly three years of recovery, Kyle was released from the hospital at age
24 and has since been able to accomplish every post-recovery goal and many more. And on June 19,
2014, Kyle was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama for his self-sacrificing act of valor. Kyle
is the youngest living recipient of the Medal of Honor, our country’s highest military honor.
In 2019, Kyle published his autobiography, You are Worth It: Building A Life Worth Fighting For. It not
only tells the story of the events leading up to November 20, 2010 and the recovery period which
followed, but it is also a story of rebirth and overcoming adversity, of how Kyle battled back from the
gravest challenge to forge a life of joyful purpose. In the words of General Jim Mattis “Kyle Carpenter’s
memoir of gallantry beyond the call of duty provides a vivid reminder that grit and valor remain
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Kyle’s military awards include a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement
Medal, NATO Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon and a Purple
Heart, the award for which he is most proud.