Watch the Letterman appearance here:
Carpenter recounted the lead-up to learning that he would receive the Medal of Honor, saying he started taking phone calls “for preparation purposes” in the months beforehand.
“They started out now so official, just checking on me and seeing how things were going and where I was at in life,” Carpenter said. “And then they kind of progressed to that point.”
The “Late Show” was far from Carpenter’s first public appearance. Since receiving the award, he has visited the New York Stock Exchange and Freedom Tower in New York, done several national media interviews, visited Marines in California and thrown out the first pitch at a San Diego Padres game. That, in particular, was remarkable considering how far Carpenter has come: The grenade blast nearly destroyed his pitching arm, causing massive tissue damage and more than 30 fractures.
Carpenter is the second living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam war. Like the first, Sgt. Dakota Meyer, he continued to document his experiences on social media, including the excellently named Twitter account, @chiksdigscars. Among his latest tweets:
Through it all, Carpenter has shown grace and humility that appears to have resonated with the American people. He has picked up thousands of Twitter followers in the last few days alone.