Medal of Honor recipient visits local Marines - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Medal of Honor recipient visits local Marines

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CAMP PENDLETON (CBS 8) - He's the nation's most recent Medal of Honor recipient. William "Kyle" Carpenter was honored for his heroic actions while serving in Afghanistan.

Carpenter is in San Diego this week. He spoke to Marines at Camp Pendleton Monday morning and will be honored at MCAS Miramar Monday night.

Speaking to his fellow Marines retired Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter talked about how he misses active duty.

"I'm mic'd up and probably shouldn't be saying this, but we're a bad-ass fighting force," Carpenter said.

Last Thursday, President Obama presented Carpenter the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor which the 24-year-old says he proudly wears for all Marines.

"I want you to know that as I stand here with this Medal of Honor around my neck, I wear it for all of you, and I truly mean that," he said.

In 2010 in Afghanistan, Carpenter threw himself between a grenade and his comrade Nicholas Eufrazio.

"The first Marines that got to me, I told them I was not going to make it. I kept telling them over and over that I was going to die," Carpenter said.

Along with having shrapnel removed from his brain and both of his legs, Carpenter lost most of his lower teeth and an eye. Forty surgeries were followed by years of recovery. After his speech, a young Marine asked Carpenter if America should return to Iraq to fight rebel forces.

"I'm proud of what we did over there, and we should never regret or look back on trying to help people that are less fortunate than us," Carpenter said.

As for all of the attention that comes with receiving the Medal of Honor, Carpenter remains one modest Marine.

"I'm proud and honored to wear the same uniform as you," he told the Marines.

"I think it's amazing. A lot of people get excited about celebrities showing up to places, but this is our real-life celebrity," one Marine said.

"It's better than going out on Hollywood Boulevard and seeing Brad Pitt. This is like 20 times better," another Marine told CBS News 8.

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