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. Justy

    "Yes, but would you think themm giving their lives for Iraq or Afghanistan is worth it? Really?"

    It's not about me. It's about them. I'll take the less self-centered path. That is not to say being self-centered is bad, but I am less so, that's just me. It would be my child fighting in the war and I would rely on his opinion more so than my own on if a war is worth fighting or not (seeing how he is the one being shot at and all.) My opinion would reflect his and that's about it.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. The Dude

    I will take that as a no, coward.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thomas

    @The Dude – I was actually taking ur post seriously until you put 'Ron Paul 2012'

    June 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Dude

    He is the only one willing to end the war. He has my vote.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SGT J

    Couldn't be more proud. Way to go Sergeant and a huge HOOAH!

    June 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Conner

    He actually has some very valid points. It is pretty hilarious to see people throw insults simply because they disagree. Those of you who served want to somehow justify your time and possibly the lives of your fellow soldiers. That is human. I am one of those. I am also a former soldier. But to take the extreme polar opposite view just because you are trying to protect a notion you've built up in your mind, is blinding you. I count myself lucky I am still not controlled by the machine, that while necessary, is also misguided.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fred

    Some folks can't see past the political pimple on their nose. This is about one man, in one moment, giving of his life for the immediate benefit of another. Whether we should be in a war or whether the US military can kill everything in sight as a skill changes absolutely nothing about what this man did with that grenade. Give it a rest whackos, of all persuasions. Congrats Sarge.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. The Dude

    It is a recruiting tool. He will now cross the country visiting high schools trying to convince our kids who are not old enough to drink to enlist.

    They want the young the same reason the terrorist do, they are ignorant and without experience and will follow orders. With the lack of experience they have an underdeveloped sense of empathy.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ProperVillain

    "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."

    Not only is he a hero he is frakin' SUPERMAN!

    He was already wounded before all this happened?! He applied his own tourniquet?! This guy gets my vote for manly man of the decade! AWESOME!

    June 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jpo

    @Dude, you are a complete left wing ignoramous.
    Obvisiously you have never served a higher cause, never sacrificed to save another, or did anything worthy of note.

    For those of us that have served, we konw what this is all about. This sergeant is a real hero, risked his life, without any other thought to save his brothers.

    Our young should look up to people lke this sergeant. Ball players and actors are no role models.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      I was a lifeguard for a couple years and saved 3 people, does that count?

      June 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      I raised my kids with morals, they are not racists or killers.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. paul martin

    It's Guys like this that America's ME generation should follow as a role model ! As long as their are people like him terrorism will never win ! Honor like this is rare and America and the West's young should be very proud of such brave and courageous people....well done Sgt. glad you made it back !

    June 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Allan

    This man deserves some money, not just a medal. Sad but true. American veterans gets the end of the stick later on in life.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      They do get money, Medal of Honor recips continue to receive their paycheck at 100% for life, along with many, many more well deserved benefits.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SGT. Justin M. Bertelli

    The Medal of Honor is given for heroic acts on the battle field. The very fact you can state your ignorant opinion proves you have more rights than the majority of the world. The fact that you do not have to obey sharia law proves that young warrior is doing his job quite well. The fact that the majority of our armed forces support the people of iraq and the stan puts the lie to 70 percent of americans do nt support the war. You only prove 70 percent of americansw are as ignorant as yourself more interested in the latest cellphone app or newest fat injectd treat to stuff yourself with. Never putting ur own boots in the sand to discover the truth. You are a sad lil person to whine about that you did not earn by anything other than the luck of where you were born. Grow up. History has shown us that all 'rights' are born of the will to fight for them, or of others will to do it for you in your case. Thank what ever divinity you worship for your luck to live in this nation. T.j. Said it like this, 'we can not expect to be transported from tyranny to freedom on a feather bed' and niether can the rest of the world. Semper Fi.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      LOL Sharia law? You are stupid...

      June 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • vincent

      HOOORAH!! I hva e served for 22 PROUD years. I fought in Panama, Somolia, Iraq ans on numerous missions normal people could not imagine. I have a bullet still in my leg and a bunch of issues. And I got the greatest award a real soldiers wants and that's to come home to his family!! He is a hero!! All of them are and always will be.......SGT Martinez.....

      June 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • careworn

      I agree with much of what you wrote Justin,and my stepson served in the airforce during the Iraq War, but since the US military does not account for 70% of Americans how do you come upo with your statement: "The fact that the majority of our armed forces support the people of iraq and the stan puts the lie to 70 percent of americans do not support the war".

      June 3, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. lizzy10

    To Sgt. Petry, thank you so much for your service, sacrifice and heroism. You are the very embodyment of courage. You are truly a man of honor.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BigBang

    The Dude has a valid point. My father was drafted during Vietnam, my grandfather fought in D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge....their message when I wanted to join the military out of hs: It's not worth it, it's all about geopolitics and power....The young are easy prey for the military recruitment, they lack world experience and wish to "be a part of something"....they are exploited, and all your hubris just helps it....if there was a draft, these wars would end since it's only the naive and those blinded by patriotism that volunteer to go.....though serving in the military is a noble IDEA, the reality is you are exploited to expand the American market....same as the majority of wars.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clewcrew

      My son enlisted in the US Army after earning finance degree from USC. He elected to serve as many do to make a difference to demonstrate that peace through power will empower a disenfranchised third world so they don't have to live under the ruthless rulers such as the Taliban or Al Queda. These men rebuild communities and care for the sick in villages. These men and women also fight to assure that another generation doesn't become terrorists by ONLY hearing firsthand one side of the story as the Islamic Extremists force upon the weak. I suggest to you sir that you dishonor your heritage by pontificating a point of view you have not earned. You did not serve in WW-II, Vietnam or the Gulf Wars. You however have been blessed to live in this country thanks to your lineage. You insult their heritage by making belittling remarks. I on the other hand am humbled by the warfighters of today.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
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