Wounded in Afghanistan: 'I'm just so thankful to be alive'

Wounded in Afghanistan: 'I'm just so thankful to be alive' »Play Video
David Carpenter lost part of a leg to injuries sustained in an IED blast.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - If three words define David Carpenter these days, it's "no whining allowed."

"I'm just so thankful to be alive that you know, there's really nothing to complain about," says Carpenter.

He nearly died August 20 in double IED explosions on patrol in Afghanistan.

Now Springfield native David Carpenter says he's ahead of the curve on his road to recovery.

KVAL News first talked to Carpenter the week of 9-11, just after his right foot and ankle were amputated.

This Thanksgiving week, he says he's thankful for family, his medical team and so much more.

Carpenter says he's totally focused on therapy in the pool and lots of gym work "for an hour and a half to 2 hours. Then I do core, which is all abs and low back and things like that."

Half a world away, longtime family friend Katie Arnold is not surprised that Carpenter's recovery so far is textbook.

"David just soldiers on," Arnold says. "That's kind of a trite way to say it, but it's what he does."

So as Thanksgiving week approaches, what is on Carpenter's mind?

"You know I've actually been thinking about that this week. First and foremost, I'm always thankful for my family, my amazing wife, my 3 beautiful kids. I also met some amazing people that, you know, are hurt way worse than me."

Arnold, herself an army vet, knows challenges will be ahead for David, even PTSD. "I don't think he expected things to turn out the way they did but they did, so he moves forward," she says.

Carpenter credits the medical team at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, for his rapid progress. He fully expects to be home in Lane County for Christmas, and says his permanent prosthetic leg will be ready in about 6 months.