Washington Post: Marine wounded alongside Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter featured in new video

Washington Post | By Dan Lamothe | Email | Follow Dan on Twitter | September 15, 2014 | Link to Article

When President Obama presented the Medal of Honor this year to Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter, he recalled the way the infantryman attempted to save his friend, Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, from the devastating effects of a grenade blast on a roof in Afghanistan.

Nick Eufrazio, YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL. from Thi Linh Wernau on Vimeo.

“When the grenade landed, other Marines in the compound looked up and saw it happen,” Obama said of the Nov. 21, 2010, ambush in which both Marines were grievously injured. “Kyle tried to stand. He lunged forward toward that grenade, and then he disappeared into the blast. Keep in mind, at the time, Kyle was just 21 years old. But in that instant, he fulfilled those words of Scripture: ‘Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.’”

Carpenter’s recovery required dozens of surgeries and years of physical of therapy, and has been well documented as the story of his heroism spread. Eufrazio’s recovery is less known, but also remarkable.

As the new, independent video above shows, he sustained a severe traumatic brain injury that doctors said would prevent him from every speaking again. He still spends much of his time in a wheelchair, but he’s now able communicate freely, and has retained a razor-sharp sense of humor.

“I’m talking now, right?” he says, when asked in the video if he proved doctors wrong.

Nick’s father, Mark, says in the video that his family acknowledges their Marine has changed, but that they have to be positive and focus on the fact that he is still here.

“Things have changed, but you know what? It’s time to change,” the father said. “Again, you do have your days. I don’t think you’re ever going to be away from that. But you heal. I don’t know, everybody is different, and everybody heals in a different way.”

As outlined by Marine Corps Times, the video was produced as part of a project by artist Thi Linh Wernau. It’s called “You. Are. Beautiful,” and includes photos and videos featuring numerous veterans.

Marine Lance Cpls. Kyle Carpenter, and Nicholas Eufrazio, right are pictured here in Marjah, Afghanistan, during their 2010 deployment. Carpenter received the Medal of Honor for shielding Eufrazio from a grenade blast on Nov. 21, 2010. (Photo handout by the Marine Corps)
Marine Lance Cpls. Kyle Carpenter, and Nicholas Eufrazio, right are pictured here in Marjah, Afghanistan, during their 2010 deployment. Carpenter received the Medal of Honor for shielding Eufrazio from a grenade blast on Nov. 21, 2010. (Photo handout by the Marine Corps)
Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter stands before receiving the Medal of Honor from President Obama during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on June 19. Carpenter received the award for “conspicuous gallantry” performed while serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter stands before receiving the Medal of Honor from President Obama during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on June 19. Carpenter received the award for “conspicuous gallantry” performed while serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Comment by Thi Linh Wernau

Thi Linh Wernau
9/16/2014 10:17 AM EDT
Hello! I’m the artist who created this film about Nick and his family. Thank you for sharing his voice via my video. As the article mentions, it is part of a larger art series called, YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL, which celebrates the human spirit and beauty in our wounded veterans. Nick is one of multiple wounded vets I’ve honored in this project over the past two years.

The main mission of the project is to spread love and kindness – to oneself and to others – and to pay this message forward to others. I use photography and film as a way to honor the sacrifice of our veterans, empower veterans to share their own voices, and to help other veterans in need. The artwork has been used in gallery exhibitions, community events, books and film.

The project also has a charitable component, where we help pay it forward by giving back to select charities that help empower wounded vets. One of the charities I support is Semper Fi Fund. I wanted to let everyone know I do have a donation page on behalf of this project. Please take a look and consider supporting wounded vets on behalf of this project: http://fundraising.semperfifund.org/YouAreBeautiful

Sincerely,
Thi Linh Wernau
http://ThiLinh.com

Semper Fi Fund note: Thi Linh Wernau’s efforts can also be found on our website here: http://semperfifund.org/ongoing/beautiful/