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. redleg

    Ah, another just like Dude I see. I take it you never served either. Murderer? That's funny:)

    June 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lee

    If he had tried to run away (assuming he could dispite both legs being wounded), the grenade would have detonated before he got very far. (Ever have a baseball coach teach you that you can throw a ball faster than you can run with it??) He and everyone else nearby would have been killed or wounded, as one of his buddies pointed out. It might have been human nature to run, but soldiers are trained to do things that are not human nature. That is why he is getting the MOH- and why several others are still alive.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brandon

    A. he had no idea how long until the thing would go off. More than likely it would not have been enough time to warn his comrades and all of them get up and run a safe distance.
    B. He was shot through both of his legs. He wasn't running anywhere.
    C. Stop being stupid.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Bushman

    Ellis, are you serious, or just half-retarded? The grenade exploded while he was holding it with his hand. That's why his hand no longer attached to his arm. It didn't just fall off, so there is no hand to put on exhibit.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jimmy

    The man served two tours of duty in Iraq and six in Afghanistan. He sacrificed his body in the attempt to save others, he deserves nothing but our respect.

    On a side note, I am going to stop reading the comments on stories like this because I am continually ashamed by the audacity and ignorance of the people who post without thinking.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • clarke

      thank you Jimmy. I am with you on this. these people are disrespectful and disgraceful humans, if they are even human.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. redleg

    Oop, dude, did we forget the S-A War, the Phillipine insurection, oh yes... WWI AND II. Let's see, there's the Cold war as well. Or perhaps you would have prefered to live under the Nazis or the hammer and sickle? Please go back and get your free public education. Looks like you need it and it just might do you some good.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ellis

    Just doesnt seem like a good idea to lose your hand, when you can just run away from it. or throw it farther away

    June 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Military daughter, wife and aunt

    How dare you disrespect my father, My husband and my nephews all who picked up a weapon and fought for our country and were wounded so your sorry $%$^$ could have the freedom to sit on your sorry &*#*%&^ while they were protecting you and your right to make uneducated and stupid statements

    June 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      The only uneducated statement I see here is the one you made trying to glorify this obnoxious war. This war is obnoxious in every sense and needs to end asap and we don't need any more nitwits to try to glorify it!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyndsie Graham

      More right-wing bla-bla-bla. It never ends!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    TFurm, The Dude nailed it precisely. Let me reiterate: Not a SINGLE war since the War of Independence, possibly The Civil War, and at the very latest World War II had ANYTHING to do with our freedoms. You sir, along with many others, have swallowed the lies and propaganda hook, line, and sinker, without having even given it a second of independent thought. It also shows that you are wrong because you cannot even come up with an argument, all you can do is call names like a child. You sir, define much of what is wrong with this country. So again, please tell me how any of the modern day wars affected our freedoms. Here's a hint: You can't.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Chris,
      You are correct. We haven't won a war for our freedom in a while. Instead we have fought numerous wars for the freedom of others around the world in Korea, Vietnam (we forget the 1 million murdered by the North after April 1975), Kuwait, Iraq, Libya. In Afghanistan we aren't fighting for our freedom, we are fighting al-Qaida and their Taliban allies who want to kill you. So we are fighting to preserve your very life. But go on, buy into your force fed Daily Kos and MoveOn lies.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Come on Michael,get real. You said that the North Vietnamese killed over ! million people after 1975,but you forgot to mention the 3 million we killed there before 1973!!! Besides,were you in Vietnam after 1975? And quit that right-wing bla-bla-bla about us fighting for our "freedoms" overseas. That's not true and you know it!!!

      June 2, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Hunden

      Who cares in a week nobody is going to give a crap

      June 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SarahPalin

    Look at me! I'm running!!!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The Dude

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUXtyIQjubU

    June 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • RP1509

      The most intelligent thing "The Dude" has written in this article. Way to go Dude!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RamĂłn M.

    I see the right-wing blowhards are out in force today – Keep up the good work Dude!

    June 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I totally agree with both you and The Dude,Ramon M. These right-wing nutjobs make me sick with all that senseless bla-bla-bla of theirs!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. stormsun

    Sad to see a bunch of people promoting their personal agenda in the comments section following a story of personal commitment and sacrifice. Any way you look at it, this is a brave man who deserves respect for his bravery in the service of his country. Remember this: soldiers don't get to pick the wars or battles they fight in, the patrols or missions they are assigned. They are not policy makers. That is the job of your elected policy makers, be they good, bad or indifferent.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      This guy is a recruitment tool, nothing more. You will forget his name in a week.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. blackhawkip

    If all people US citizens thought the same as "The Dude" we would have a "0" man/woman military and no defense budget. Wonder what flag we'd be fliying then, rights we'd have, and freedoms we'd enjoy........hmmmm, I wonder.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      You sure as hell wouldn't need a Patriot Act since we would be minding our own business and not selling poison Gas to Hussein or Weapons to Iran.

      Ron Paul 2012

      June 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MIJohn

    To the "he didn't anything exceptional" morons. The Congressional Medal of Honor is awarded for actions where the soldier places their life in immediate peril that exceeds what is expected of a soldier. That is why it is sometimes called the "Casket with Metal Handles"; the actions required to be nominated for the CMH are such that death is nearly assured.

    To try to throw back a grenade when you have no idea how much time is left (the timer could have started at the throw or it could have been started before the throw to give less time to throw it back) goes against all of a soldiers training and self-preservation instincts. By grabbing that grenade he placed the lives of his fellow soldiers above his own. To do that takes a level of courage civilians only see in firefighter. It's just a pity some morons can't control their need for attention.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Well said!

      June 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC4EVER

      A common misconception is that the award is called the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is not; its proper name is the Medal of Honor. It is bestowed upon the recipient by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and in the name of Congress.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • HMC

      AMEN!

      June 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • USA#1

      mcjohn – Best post!! God bless America and all who defend her. Thank you to all our Troops for putting themselves in harms way for YOU and ME!! Have YOU thanked a soldier today??? Thanks to all our great and brave veterans too!! You are not forgotten.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
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