Army sergeant to get Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry has served six tours of duty in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.
June 1st, 2011
08:27 AM ET

Army sergeant to get Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics

An Army Ranger who lost his right hand while tossing an enemy grenade away from fellow soldiers in Afghanistan will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the U.S. Army announced this week.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will be the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Iraq and Afghan wars, according to the military. President Barack Obama will present the award to Petry on July 12.

"It's very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day, to nominate me for that," Petry said, according to an Army News Service report.

Petry is being awarded the medal for actions on May 26, 2008, in Paktia, Afghanistan.

Already wounded by a bullet that went through both his legs, Petry picked up an enemy grenade that landed near him and two fellow Rangers and threw it back toward the enemy, according to the Army News Service report. The grenade detonated and amputated Petry's right hand. Petry applied a tourniquet to his wound and called for help.

"If not for Staff Sergeant Petry's actions, we would have been seriously wounded or killed," a fellow Ranger, Sgt. Daniel Higgins, wrote. Read the full Army News Service report on the battle.

Petry, now assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, will be the ninth service member to be presented the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. The other living recipient is Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta.

Petry, a father of four from Santa Fe, New Mexico, has served two tours of duty in Iraq and six in Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Medal of Honor • Military • World
soundoff (536 Responses)
  1. CSnSC

    Well deserved, a true war hero.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Thank you for your valiant service! It is time for us to stop sacrificing great men like you on the altar of helping those who hate us to like us more. Let's gtfo of Afghanistan. If they attack us, then bomb the crap out of them. Same thing with Iraq, Pakistan, Lybia, or anywhere else in the world where we are helping our enemies.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jason

    Very much deserved. Thank you for your service!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Guest


    June 1, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Lyndsie, SFC Petry lost a hand and in all reality should have been killed saving the lives of his fellow Rangers. His honor is well deserved. What have you done to actually help someone? Is your life so small and pathetic that an article that has no political bias and a comment that expresses pride in the 75th Ranger Regiment's motto causes you to make childish statements? Luckily this country has men like SFC Petry and SSG Giunta. We need them to make up for the likes of you. Airborne! All the Way!

      June 1, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Hi Michael. This man is a hero to his fellow soldiers, and that was a truly honorable action. With that said, this war, like almost every single one since WWII or before, has nothing to do with protecting our freedoms. At all. That is a regurgitated line of propaganda. How do *I* help other people? I work for a non-profit psychiatric clinic that helps the homeless, the mentally ill, drug addicts, and veterans. Guess what? A large portion of those first 3 peoples are veterans. What does that say?

      June 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mireya

    It was such a brave and quick action on ur part. Thank you for ur service. Hope u and ur family r doing well. July the 12 not far now...hope u enjoy the celebration on that day.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |

    The same old song and dance. It's funny how the news media lambasted the Russians while they were in Afghanistan as villains back in the 1980's and now treat the NATO forces as living saints! And all the Afghans want is to be left alone.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Thank you RUFFNUTT for your imput. It gets awfully old seeing all these right-wing nutjobs vomiting their bla-bla-bla all over this web page trying to glorify this obscene war!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Geoff

    Hey Lyndsie-

    Shut your pie hole. Have you been in the military? Have you been hot and then had your limb amputated in an effort to save someone? This guy is the type of person that should be exalted as a hero, not people like Kobe Bryant or Lance Armstrong. Take your agenda and go somewhere else with it.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. herioc actions deserve heroic awards

    some people make think this was not enough to get this award – but i would like "people "to understand – first you were not there and cant judge – second -this soldier was all ready seriously injured and in alot of pain and agony – third the genade could have killed or seriously injured everyone arround – or him – fourth he risked his life and health to save his friends fifth – he prevented the enemy from winning that battle that minute by incapaacitating his ranger group where moree woud have been injured 6th again he could have died being a father of a family of four – and most of all – he must live with the fact of -permanantly losing his hand -and suffereing blast and concussion and haering damage – so to me people this guy – injured risked everything – savelives and losy alot and truly deserves this recognition . so as a fellow veteran i salute you and give honnor and due respect to you. 1st sgt petry thank you for a job well done – and may your actions never be forgotten .thnks for your service . :} daniel – u.s. navy . seabee"s – retired .

    June 1, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nu Yorker

    Well played Sgt! Lucky, but well played!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Curious George

    lyndsie Graham, there is no greater sacrafice a human being can make than to risk their life to save those around them. You should pray that someone like Sgt. Petry is near if you ever find yourself in a life or death situation and need help extricating yourself from it. I climbed into a car that was on fire to pull a stranger out of it when I was 16 years old, I did it because it was the right thing to do. I get the impression from your " blah, blah, blah" comment that you would have stood by and watched the same stranger burn to death then wept because you beleive sitting on the left side of the fence makes you more compassionate. The Sgt. did't do it for the Medal, he did it because it was the right thing to do. The Sgt. is a hero and deserves at the very least your respect, if you are unable to understand that simple concept then perhaps you should reserve your comments for your friends. If you want to disagree with the War then call your Left-wing/Right-wing Congressman or Congresswoman. Soldiers don't start wars Politicians do. Soldiers are the ones that Die in them. I feel sorry for you.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Curious George, I agree with your sentiments, and indeed, if this were truly a democracy that we live under, we should be rallying our politicians to end both of these meaningless and unneeded wars. However, because we do not live in a direct democracy where we get to vote to go to war, the only thing we can do is take direct action. DO NOT JOIN THE MILITARY. How long will people continue to fall for outright lies?

      With that said, this man is indeed a hero. Not for falling for the lie of "protecting our freedoms" and going to war to kill innocent insurgents (hint: If we were invaded we'd be using all the same tactics), but rather for saving his fellow human beings' lives. Bravo.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sua Sponte

    Excellent job! Rangers Lead the Way! -C CO. 2/75

    June 1, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cliff

    He deserves a hand.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Man

      Too soon?

      June 1, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Fellow soldier

    Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back

    Veni, Vidi, Vici. Afghanistan 06

    June 1, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Grandpa RD

    GOD bless SFC Petry for his heroic action, and I hope his MOH ceremony is televised so I can snap him a well deserved salute.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Former Marine

    "Hey how'd you lose your hand, dude?" "Oh I picked up a live grenade in a fire fight while wounded through both legs and threw it back at the bad guys." What a rock solid badass!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Former Air Force

      @Former Marine–I imagined you saying that in R Lee Ermy's voice which makes what you said that much cooler. HOOAH!

      June 1, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    A TRUE HERO. 8 tours of duty, that says it all

    June 1, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Is that right,Kevin? Maybe the man may be nihilistic,did you ever think of that? Some people do see the glory in war while others suffer needlessly from it. This war should not be going on at all!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
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