KENTWOOD, Mich. – Army Pfc. Danielle Carpenter (search) didn't want to let down her fellow soldiers. She also couldn't turn her back on her ailing mother, in desperate need of a kidney transplant.
So before she was deployed to the war in Iraq, Carpenter, 20, gave her left kidney to her mother during a March 25 operation.
"I did this for my mother because she deserves it," Carpenter said. "I watched my mom deteriorate before my eyes growing up, and I told her from the minute I knew about the kidney failure that I would give her one of mine."
Though she's back now with members of the 3rd Army Cavalry Regiment at a base in northern Iraq, Carpenter remains puzzled as to why anyone would consider what she did to be special.
"I think it's kind of funny, the way people react when they hear what I've done," she said. "The way I see it, if it was your mom, you would do it without thinking it was remarkable or honorable at all."
Her mother feels otherwise.
"Words cannot describe it. She is just a fantastic child," said Diane Brogger, 54, whose health is improving.