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. yesiam

    I applaud this man's bravery for keeping his wits and using his training to not only save his own life, but also the lives of his fellow service members.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bcn

    i propose Webster puts that picture in their dictionary, right next to definition of "Badass".

    June 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Apeman

    When I think of what a soldier should look like, I will now think of Sgt. Petry, and for Amy's ignorant comment, obvious he/she has never been in combat or have any idea what the moment would have been like.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RichG

    That's really uncalled for you heartless turd!

    June 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Veronica

    Living in Columbus, right outside of Ft. Benning Ga. I am SO proud of our rangers that we house here. Two very good friends of mine are rangers, and they are the most admirable men you'd ever meet. God bless Petra, and lets keep praying for all the other rangers overseas fighting for us!

    June 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. USMC parent

    Sgt 1st Class Petry did a little more than just throw a grenade. Always get the full story before you judge someone. The full details are at

    June 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. w2lucky

    6 tours in the mid-east. Should get a kudos for that as well. Congrats 1st Sgt Petry. A true American hero. I hope your experience can somehow get passed on to future combat troops.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    Hero? That was just a toy grenade, this was a set up just to get a stupid medal.

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

      Dave, you're not very bright, are you? Did your parents have any children that lived? No need to answer, we all know that anything you say isn't worth listening to. You should probably go have your diaper changed.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Dave, I DID initially take offense. But then, I have to consider how hard it was for you, being wet nursed by your father.
      So, I'll forgive you. It just HAD to be tough on you.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    What a joke, taking a piece of plastic and throwing it away.

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

    1stSgt. Petry, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

    semper fi

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


    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

    Your IDIOTIC post has NOTHING to do with the story. This ISN'T about WHY we're in Afghan, this is about a soldier who saved his men while risking his OWN. Find another VENUE for your BS, this aint it.

    June 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      It was in direct reply to the posters saying @whocares opinons were wrong.
      I'm not denying what he did was brave and he deserves recognition for it, however it does not allow for the ignorance posted in reply to what he said. If it's not relevant ignore it, but don't question the big picture that you evidently know nothing about.

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

      As if your country is flawless... as if your country does not protect the evil and wanted. The military do what they are asked. They do not involve themselves in the politics of the country. They are there only to serve. This man is a hero. He gave his hand and almost his life to save his fellow soldiers and friends.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      I have no beef with the military. A couple of my best friends are in the marines, they are just doing their job.
      I do have a problem with idiots making stupid assertions on a 'news' website about why we fight this war, or making racist, generalized comments about Afghanis. Seeing things from someone elses perspective is a wonderful skill to have.
      This guy deserves his medal. I'm not arguing that.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. WhatTheH

    What the hell is an African American? Are you African or American?

    June 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • neal kelley

      American is your nationality and African is your ethnicity. Get it straight stupid! There are Irish Americans, Polish Americans, and Jewish Americans. And yes... to your surprise African Americans. When America is rid of racism that runs rampant through this country then and only then can we stop becoming hyphenated Americans. Until that time. I claim my ethnicity first and then my nationality second. Just as America claims us as second class citizens!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      Not true. People who are black and from other countries get called 'African American'.
      As do black people who are American and are not descended directly from an African country. And if you want to aruge that all black people originated in Africa then I put to you that all people did period. So am I an African American being white?

      June 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dalton

    Much respect to our nation's hereo's and many thanks to all the men and women out there fighting. Many many many thanks.... to the others why post disrespectful post's on a story that everyone should be proud of imagine if your dad brother uncle best friend or who ever was one of the two he saved... some posts should not have been said some opinions should be kept to one's self

    June 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. USMC$EmperFi

    This guy is still alive and in tact-except for his hand...whatever happened to the ones only dying getting it?

    June 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • neal kelley

      They are always honored and forever be remembered..

      June 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • EWGuy

      "whatever happened to the ones only dying getting it" I'm sorry, is that official DoD policy that it is only a posthumous award?

      June 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Begalvis

      soooo the only type of heroes are dead heroes??????

      June 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • SnakepitDave

      Your an idiot. Did you ever hear of Audie Murphy. Crawl back into your little "man cave" and troll on some other blog. You don't have to be dead to get the Medal of Honor.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Only the dying one getting it? Well, that's NEVER been the case. Idiot.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PCola Vet


    It was in direct reply to the posters saying @whocares opinons were wrong.
    I'm not denying what he did was brave and he deserves recognition for it, however it does not allow for the ignorance posted in reply to what he said. If it's not relevant ignore it, but don't question the big picture that you evidently know nothing about.


    Yep 18 plus yrs in the Marines and 3 tours in the Raq and 2 in Afghan, you're right what would I know about it?

    June 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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