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. Clewcrew

    My son is at Benning completing the first phase of his special forces contract after graduating from USC. Getting Ranger "tabbed" is somehting most men could not muster enough all around manhood to complete. Sgt Petry not only was a solider and Ranger, but selfless as are so many young men who VOLUNTEER to defend our country. I only wish I had the opportunity to meet the man in person and thank him. For now, I will simply thank the men that I will meet at Fort Benning next week who will be the next wave of brave men who have allowed me to live in peace. And, I will hug my son and pray that he never has to make the decision as Sgt Petry did once he is SF tabbed.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jean

    first off god bless u first sgt petry. why must our fathers sons mothers and daughters b ordered to serve eight tours of duty n a warzone. asinine. jmi

    June 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Come on,jean. Enough already with the ignorance. It's getting disgusting to say the least!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lyndsie Graham

    These right-wing blowhards never give up vomiting their sickening bravado and ignorance here! No wonder this country's in such bad shape with all these nutjobs voting at the polls and it seems like the worst is yet to come!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hunden

    Who cares in about a week no one is going to remember

    June 2, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. Hunden

    No impact no ideai

    June 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Spidey-Man

    Good Job! I really hope you Guys an Gals over there know how much we appreciate you. I'm always thinking that guys like this will never read what we have to say and never know how most of us feel.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rich Buchanan U.S.M.C

    Extremely proud of SFC Petry, as well as all of our fantastic troops. Hell, the guy has done more tours than the Rolling Stones! God Bless and thank you. Carry on.Semper Fi and out!

    June 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nathan

    Inspiring and uplifting! This fine gentlemen is a treasure to us New Mexicans and makes me proud to be one!

    June 16, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Peter Marks

    Would you grab an incoming grenade and try and throw it away as Sgt. 1St. Class Petry did? There are not many who would, but almost every soldier fighting in Afghanistan would for they care about their brother soldiers and will go so far as to place their own life in harms way to save a brother soldier. This is the type of soldier we have in today’s army and we are so fortunate they are fighting for our freedom and sacrificing so much of their lives and the lives of their families; the least we can do is thank them but what we need to do is care for them when they return from war as they are all hurting and suffering from PTSD and other injuries. They need help and the military isn't giving it to them after they muster them out. Now it is up to us, the common man, the fellow American, to provide for and care for our returning warriors as they are soon to be abandoned by the military for which they gave their all. I ask everyone to please help a veteran in any way you can. Buy the veteran a meal; drive a veteran to an appointment or the grocery store. Be there for the veteran and let the veteran tell you their story of combat as they have to get that out in the open and stop suppressing the horror they went through as it will only hurt them later were they not to face their demons now. Many will have panic attacks and nightmares where they wake up screaming at the top of their lungs as their mind thinks the enemy is still there and is after them. They have to talk the enemy away from their mind and they have to do it soon after they return from combat. Many will deny they have PTSD, but anyone who has had at least one tour of duty in a combat zone will come back a changed person and most, if not all, will suffer from PTSD. We have to help them or they will become the homeless wandering our streets as many did who came back after the Vietnam War. Please be there for our military when they return from war for they have nowhere else to turn than their neighbor, so be a neighbor and offer your help to any and every veteran you see. You won't be sorry you did for you will be appreciated. Become a volunteer and offer to help any organization that helps veterans and donate money to veteran’s organizations as they need it desperately to better serve our veterans I thank you and so does the veteran whom you helped by your donation or your personal help. Go in peace and walk with you head held high for you are a brother or a sister to a veteran who was willing to die for your freedom and you gave your thanks by giving back; that’s what it means to be an American.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ed Peterson

    numerology for Leroy Petry:

    July 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. margueritekevan

    Terrible comments-you call yourself Americans!!!!This guy was a hero but he wasnt asking are you black or white?? He risked his life for you and all of us.My grandson served under him while at For Lewis and felt it was an honor to do so!!! Oh he to was an army ranger and served two tours in Iraq.My son was an army ranger also he also was in Kosovo,Iraq-twice,Panama etc. retired recently as Major. Save your comments and God Bless America!!!!!!

    August 18, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
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