At the White House Thursday, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, a retired US Marine whose courageous actions shielding a fellow soldier and beloved friend from a grenade blast in Afghanistan.

Kyle’s more than two year recovery from devastating injuries, including 40 different surgeries, is a model of strength and resilience. “He has a new eye, new teeth, new jaw, and one helluva smile,” remarked Obama in his speech

”After everything he’s been through,” the President continued, “he skis, he snowboards, has run a 6-mile Mud Run and completed the Marine Corps Marathon.”

“He’s a motivational speaker… and is thinking of getting his degree in psychology so he can use his experiences to help others. He’s in school getting stellar grades.”

“And by the way, he’s only 24 years old, and says, ‘I am just getting started.'”

(WATCH the video below or READ the full account in the White House transcript)

Photo credit: White House, Pete Souza

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