SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Marines Foundation on Thursday hosted its first Marine Corps birthday celebration.

The celebration featured a special guest of honor—the youngest living Medal Of Honor recipient, retired U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Kyle Carpenter.

From the oldest Marine to the youngest, each person at the event honored their service and sacrifice.

The San Diego Marines Foundation puts on this birthday celebration primarily for veterans but all are welcome.

“Our service and the legacy we helped build and maintain will never fade and will never waiver and just like our enduring legacy, so is our responsibility,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter received the nation’s highest honor after hurling himself on a live grenade to save a fellow Marine.

“I found myself bleeding out on a hot, dusty rooftop in Marjah, Afghanistan, after a hand grenade tore through my body, changing my live forever,” Carpenter said.

An act of heroism that inspires these Marines on the 247th Birthday of the Corps. From a Marine who may have left the battlefield but to this day continues to serve.

“I have learned that any worthy victory can only be achieved through hard work, sacrifice and optimism. And lastly, I learned that the smallest of steps completed the grandest of journeys,” Carpenter said.

The event also raises funds for several Marine-centric nonprofits including the Semper Fi & America’s Fund and the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation.