Marine Corps veteran William Kyle Carpenter of Gilbert threw himself onto a grenade in Afghanistan to save the life of a friend.
"Over there, each other is all we have," Carpenter told Katie Couric on Jan. 27 in a television interview.
For his actions, Carpenter, 24, will receive the Medal of Honor, the Marine Corps Times reported on Wednesday. The country's highest award for valor reportedly has not been presented to a South Carolinian since the Vietnam War.
Carpenter spent more than two years in the hospital recovering from his wounds. He lost his right eye because of the explosion. Carpenter took the brunt of a grenade blast, saving the life of a comrade, on Nov. 21, 2010.
"I'm still here and kicking and I have all my limbs so you will never hear me complain," he said in a video at Marine Corps Times website.
In a Facebook posting, Carpenter said last summer that he would enroll at the University of South Carolina to study physical education.
"One thing I have learned about life is that there is no set path and sometimes the unexpected happens that will put everything into perspective and when it does you embrace it, seize the opportunity with a smile and always hold onto the silver lining," he wrote.
A university spokesman said he was not currently enrolled there, according to news reports.
Carpenter could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The South Carolina General Assembly passed a resolution in 2011 that recognized Carpenter's courageous service.
"Lance Corporal Carpenter took the full blast from an enemy hand grenade in seeking to save a fellow Marine. He suffered catastrophic wounds for the cause of freedom," the resolution states.
President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Carpenter this year, the Marine Corps Times reported, citing unidentified officials as its sources.
More than 15,000 people have followed Carpenter's recovery and his projects at the Facebook page Operation Kyle. Some of those people posted messages Wednesday in response to the news that he would receive the Medal of Honor.
"Corporal, you're such an inspiration, the true meaning of bravery and friendship. Your story touched me," wrote Andres Arturo Peņa.
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