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. JustAMarine

    Wow, not knowing the full citation, or being there, it seems quite clear that the CMoH is about 95% political BS.

    Nothing this guy or the other living soldier did would rate a CMoH as written, or Peralta and Kasal would both have been awarded...

    Either way, anyone who wears a Bronze Star (with a V; the army gives away Bronze Stars like crazy) or above is kind of a big deal.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      You make valid points. I don't think it is wrong to have the opinion that this guy didn't deserve a MOH based on the article that is written. Especially when you consider the situations of Kasal and Peralta.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jingoistic Drum Banger

      It is a funny thing. There are about 100 million men who claim to be marines and 75 million who were in Vietnam.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Click on the link to the "full Army News Service report on the battle". A lot more context is given. The fact that he continued to fight after being wounded is likely the difference between the DSC and MOH. But you have a point that sometimes the MOH is more political or possibly symbolic than it ought to be. For instance, MacAurther gettting the MOH for leading the fight in the Phillipines. What about the ones left to continue to fight (and to participate in the Battan Death March) after he was ordered to withdraw? I've also heard an admiral and captain on the Arizona got the MOH for essintially having a bomb make a direct hit on them- what about the other 1175 KIA on board the Arizona??

      June 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      I'm a Marine also, and to tell the truth, I'm ashamed of your response! Perhaps the short version of the citation doesn't meet your expectations; but, the sergeant First Class risked his life and saved two his men – he is fully deserving of the award.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tim

    "The Dude" cracks me up but not as much as the people who are actually responding to him.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TFurm

    He was shot through the legs......he couldn't's not a coward like most of you.....

    June 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ellis

    I would have run away when the gernade came, then come back to fight some more. Cant do that without a hand

    June 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Proud Ex service member from the Viet Nam era.

    I bet you never served in the Military or if you did I bet you never served in a combat company because if you did you would have known that it would be normal for one person to try to save others in his/hers unit. God bless and protect all our troops no matter where they serve.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. clarke

    I really really hope you are not being stupid. You are a coward Ellis, just a coward.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TFurm

    And you are obviously a leftist hippie dirtbag that thinks everything is peachy and the world wants peace and cookies and fluffy bunnies. Condolences Mr. Lebowski....the bums lost. I suggest you do what your parents did.....get a job sir....

    June 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dbarak

    "maybe it could be a display somewhere"

    My estimation of your intellect hasn't changed.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. clarke

    confirmed you are a coward that does no service to the human race.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Proud Ex service member from the Viet Nam era.

    I can see where you would have run away but coming back to fight another day is something I just can't see you doing.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TinKnight

    It doesn't matter if his legs were healthy & not already shot, a grenade has a lethal radius of around 50ft and a fuse of around 4 seconds. Take off the time for the thrower to get it to you, and you have less than 2 seconds to see it, respond, and run more than 50 feet in full combat gear, which can weigh 100lbs or more...and that's just to avoid the published kill radius, not to avoid being injured. Not only that, but you would be sacrificing the lives of your two fellow soldiers that were right beside you.

    You NEVER run away in combat, even if you have to retreat/withdraw...throughout all of history, 50-75% or more of all combatant casualties occurred after one side started running away.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Louis

    dbarak- Why call him an idiot? Its a valid question.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ellis

    Our school class went to the bodies exibit, just thought they could put the hand in a exibit like that.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rich

    People, people, quit hatin' on each other.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dbarak

    @ Louis – I think you know as well as I do that he(?) was trying to be funny, and now he's backing away from the original intent of his post. Unless he's a little dense, that can't have been a serious question.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
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