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. Steve

    What fat turd, typical of rangers these days.

    I know guys that have done more heroic things and only received a NAM or Bronze star with a V, which is what this action rates.
    Army just needs more heroes and have lowered the standards to get them.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyser

      Still makes you wonder how the medal system works......especially all the guys we lost in Operation Anaconda. Like the crew cheif who didn't leave his gun no matter how much fire he was taking so the others could be dragged to safety until he was mortally wounded.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Don't blame the Rangers, all they did was nominate him for it. It then goes through a very long process that investigates the story. I'm sure you wouldn't be saying that if it was YOUR life that got saved because he bore the brunt of the explosion.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Daddy

      Thanks for your tabless view

      June 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |

    rumncoke – just crawl back under your rock or back into your bottle.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Henry

    "I'll catch a grenade for ya"

    June 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. FortDrum88

    Not taking your bait. He may simply salute, like a soldier.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MM

    It is a big deal! Showing disrespect for this soldier could not be more unamerican. Way to go!

    June 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      I do not mean to offer him disrespect, just the War he is fighting in.

      He is a recruitment tool now.. A mindless drone that will be used to coax more young men into throwing their lives away. I am proud to stand against everything this guy believes in , because it is all BS.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      A mindless drone? Well I'd say he had enough of a mind for the safety of his men, then STILL had the mind to mend his OWN wound, and continue the fight until help arrived. I'd say that's the COMPLETE opposite of 'mindless'. Play a sport or something dude, jeez.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      Yeah, when I think of a Soldier I think of someone who is a freethinker...


      June 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • louderthanbombs

      Ah yes because "freethinkers" make rash generalizations like you?

      June 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andy

    In my eyes this ranger is a hero,he has served his country well. I am sorry that he lost his right hand and hope that he will return to his family. I don't like the way some of you people talk about this ranger. He does deserve the medal of honor, I wish I could be there to shake the only hand he has got left.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. abby

    These are the real heroes, the men and women who put their lives on the line in service to our nation. Bravery beyond belief. God bless him and his family. God bless all of our service men and women.

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

    I'd love to put you in the middle of the streets of Baghdad or Kabul with a huge american flag on your back. I'd bet you'd squirm like a b.i.t.c.h.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Amy

    Well shoot, we were taught to do this way back in basic training. Hmm ...

    June 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnharry22911

      yeah amy but you werent there little miss armchair general hmm...

      June 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRich

      STFU POG!!!!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou Cypher

      Being taught to do something and actually doing it are whole different matters. Most people, like you. would be nothing left but shredded gunk. Everyone knows to do the right thing, but very few actually do it, regardless of their life or safety.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      You're taught to do a LOT of things in basic training. The question is how many WOULD pick up a hand grenade and throw it, knowing full well you have an excellent chance of at LEAST losing your hand and part of your arm?
      I've watched men watch themselves bleed, rather than apply a dressing or tourniquet. I've watched their buddies do the same.
      There's a big difference between basic training and the real deal. A real big difference.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      That's funny honey, because I sure don't remeber being under fire, with BOTH legs wounded, picking up a hot potato, and tossing it away from my guys, back in basic. You still serving coffee by the way?

      June 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • That Guy

      And Amy for the record, you were not taught to pick a grenade up and throw it back. That's his survival instinct taking over. You probably wouldn't know much about that sitting in the A/C. TRY AGAIN!!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andy

    I bet no one will take me apart for my comment, except maybe the anti everything guys that hate this great Country so much. Hail to the Marines, Rangers, foot Soldiers, Airmen and Navy men. God Bless this Country.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • STFDoor

      Interesting how you set that up. . . There are anti-everything, country haters and then the entire suite of rationale people that must agree with you. You must think a lot of yourself.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. who cares

    @steve...a typical response I expected. To everyone, ask yourself this... Now what if some country decided to come to America start bombing us and sending soldiers in, raiding our homes, taking our men, raping our women (yes it happens over there) terrorizing all children. What would you do??!! I known, pick up a gun and defend my family friends and country! You know, the government wanted this to happen and found ways to make it happen. All because a group of horrible men decided to crash planes on 9/11 doesn't mean it reflects everyone in those countries. Most have never even drove cars! They are trying to live their lives but america and foreign countries decide to take over their country. It's sad. We also have terrorists in american. Drug dealers, murderers, rapists, etc. We need to stop protecting the stupid Israelis who incite this violence and let them fight their own wars so we may find peace and prosperity again for OUR people. Omg I can go on and on. I hope come election time all of u reading this will think hard about your future and the future of our generation. No doubt what this guy was brave but it doesn't warrant a medal of honor. Read about what meadal of honors did in WW1, 2, Vietnam, etc. Now THEY deserved it. God bless us all

    June 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdalco

      You sir, are a fool.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • conexes


      June 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • angry_soldier

      @ who cares! first of all i am a soldier and am currently deployed in iraq! (yes there are still soldiers here LOL) secondly you are a moron and need to keep your mouth shut about things you really have NOOOOOOO idea about! 🙂 you have a wonderful day!!! HOOYAH!!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      That might have been the dumbest post in this whole string of knuckle-headed posts. 1st of all, How exactly are we taking over their country? They have their own Government AND their GOVERNMENT asked us to remain their. Israelis couldn't even find Afghanistan on a Map...they don't care about Afghanistan. Iraq is If you said Iran then maybe the Israelis would be to blame, but they are definitely not the antagonists...they are just defending their existence on this planet.

      Learn about International Relations and Military Affairs before you start babbling sound like an Ass Clown!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • That Guy

      You are the definition of a racist and retarded indiviual. You blame the "stupid Israelis" , but then say your not racist. Your a typical muslim who thinks the entrie world is against them. Grow up buddy!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      most of what u say is correct

      June 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      God Bless SFC Petry and men like him. Only a moron would belittle such a hero.
      As for your political views keep them to yourself.

      Semper FI Mac!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      No, he isn't an idiot. You Americans are just brainwashed into believing that this is some nobel war, when in reality it is an illegal, gross waste of human life.
      America harbours terrorists wanted by many South American countries. By your acceptance of this that means you will accept if Nicoraguan troops invaded your town, set up checkpoints, stopped you from going places, killed innocent family members etc. You also would not try and defend yourself and fight off this occupying force.
      I'm not blaming the soldiers themselves but this war has only created more terrorists and is yet another example of failed American foreign policy.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      Hahaha. Afghanistans government wants us there??!!
      You mean the same puppet put in charge by the US to begin with who completely goes against what the average citizen wants? The same leader whose hand is basically forced now because of the mess the country is left in since US troops invaded? And for the record if you look at recent news you will see that he has actually been calling for the soldiers to leave for a while now, so then maybe Afghanistan can try and make its own democracy not under US influence.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      So much ignorance in these replies.
      Isrealis are only defending their right to exist?? What are the Palestinians doing then? You know, the people who were in those lands originally and are repeatedly being attacked/land taken away/resources stolen by the Israelis? Israel is not an innocent victim, you are a total idiot if you think this. They are as bad as the US when it comes to oppressing groups of people and trying to instill their 'right to existence' onto others. Palestine could have been a soverign nation years ago but guess which two countries stood in the way of that whilst repeatedly building settlements on their land?

      June 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      You forgot one thing. You mentioned the terrible men who rammed airplanes into buildings here. But then you forgot that their comrades, who wish to do the same thing, given a half a chance, are still there and still fighting.
      So, what would you do? Withdraw and let them kill thousands more at home?
      Honestly, I'd rather nuke that entire country before withdraw, if we're not going to finish what we started. At least THEN, we'd be sure to get those SOB's before the DID attack us again and again and again. AND we'd send the world a message.
      A message I'd prefer to not send in that way.
      But then, you've not MET them. I have. Literally.
      They LITERALLY want our nation destroyed, the populace either dead or enslaved. THAT, I've heard from their own mouths.
      As for the CRIMES you mentioned with the (yes, that happens), you know about them how? Oh yeah, we arrested and charged them with those crimes. How HORRIBLE of us, to publicly arrest them and charge them with violation of every civilized nation's laws, to include our own! That is WHY some wish to keep such crimes secret, because of pinheads like you, who assume that everyone is doing what a few are CHARGED AND CONVICTED for.
      I've even come home to be called a baby killer! Shades of Vietnam!
      Perhaps Al Qaida SHOULD win and enslave our once great nation, people like you have already destroyed it from within, like good little traitors.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      Typical uneducated, ignorant to the rest of the world American response.
      The fact that you would happily nuke a country containing millions of innocent people to preserve your 'freedoms' that weren't threatened in the first place AND the same freedoms you now prevent other countries to have is sickening.
      You are an awful human being. And stupid to boot. If you think that everyone who fights US soldiers is a 'terrorist' then you need to do some reading. Many of the people fighting are fighting you because, get this, THEY DON'T WANT AN OCCUPYING FORCE IN THEIR COUNTRY. They are doing the same thing you would do if your freedoms were actually threatened (you know, if a country invaded you, just like you did to them).

      June 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dragonoif

    that Sgt1stClass is a bad Ass! that many tours? I did my time in Iraq for 15 months and saw my fair share of bad stuff and was injured but can never complain, Well deserved and then some Ranger! Army Strong.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jackson

    8 combat tours in total...he deserves a medal for that alone (along with his wife and family, God Bless Them!!!)...but to then place oneself in immediate danger to protect his fellow soldiers, while already wounded, that is, 'above and beyong the call of duty'. Congratulations Sgt. Petry, and may God bless you, your family, your fellow soldiers and this great Country of ours. Where does such bravery come from? I have no idea, but I'm forever indebted to Sgt. Petry and those who serve. Thank you, one and all. For those of you who don't understand this bravery, just remember, Sgt Petry (and others) do what they do, just so you have the 'right' to disrespect them. Can't you at least acknowledge that? I doubt spout out garbage about those that protect your right to be cess-pool. Only an American soldier does that!

    June 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      I've met many who are called heroes. They all share one thing in common. They don't know what all the fuss is about, they did their job and duty.
      They don't understand that many would jump away or freeze. Because, they're too busy doing to worry about it.
      Thank God for strong men, who don't think about it, they just DO.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    Sounds like he was saving his own bacon, unless he had a choice of diving behind something for cover or throwing it back. If so, then yes, hero... if the only action he could take to protect himself was throw it back, no hero, just a guy doing what he has to to survive

    June 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Sounds like you've never been in combat. The FIRST and ONLY mission of a Sgt is to make sure his men make it through each engagement alive. This guy was ALREADY wounded in both legs, and STILL was able to get that ordinance away from the men and then after the shock of seeing his freaking hand blown off, put a tournaquet on and continue on. Remember he had 8 tours, he'd been in other firefights too, and this wasn't his first dance.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      The best way that I can explain to those who have never served and even for some who did, but never were in combat...
      Special Operations personnel just never learned HOW to quit.
      But, pogues like Kevin don't understand such things.
      MOST would roll away, jump behind something or into a ditch, not pick the thing up and return it to sender. And anyone who ever used grenades knows, the fuse timing isn't always reliable. He KNEW the chances weren't good, he still managed to get to the grenade and throw it, with both legs wounded, no small task at all.
      Then, but on his own tourniquet.
      Glad it's his last tour, now he can teach others deploying important lessons that will keep them alive, when they go downrange.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    @who cares... lots of useless propaganda in your comment. Not surprising. Pull your head in and protect that front yard of yours. So far as MoH receipients, a lot of them jumped on grenades; others charged bad guys, on and on. Truly brave (especially compared to the very early years of the award).

    @amy Being taught and doing it are two way different things. But you already know that, I am sure.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
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