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. navy09

    that is what I call a hero!! I think we tend to lose sight of what a true hero is these days! it is not those actors and actresses that just give money to charities it is the ones who go over seas away from their comfort zone to protect freedom for all, not just for America!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. opus512

    Eight tours of duty. That's almost ten years at war.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Sublime

      He's in a ranger batt. These cats don't do full year rotations, it's usually 4-6 months. Still that's a tremendous amount of time away from home and kudos to him on his valiant efforts and continued service.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      Yes, Ranger Batts do 4-6 month deployments but during those deployments they do at LEAST six raids a day – they're non-stop on the go ALL the time. Rangers lead the way.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. George Patton

    Why was Lyndsie Graham's post deleted here while all these ignoramuses have theirs left on display? What does CNN have against the First Amendment anyway? I guess that too many of these idiots had their feelings hurt and that's a shame.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • General Sherman

      While your post is completely out of left field and has nothing to do with honoring the bravery of this young man. If you seek an ignoramus you need not look to far.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ron

    I salute you sir. You are a true hero.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    I got a hunch here that this guy may become as popular as Barack Obama himself. We need to get out of that useless war and now!!! Let the U.S. corporations buy Afghanistan's minerals if they need them!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jeremy

    8 deployments!?!?!? I served in active duty from 04-09 as an infantryman and only deployed once! Thank you for your sacrifices SSG.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Thank you too, Jeremy.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. RLD

    Now this man is a true hero. It takes serious balls to grab a live grenade and try to throw it back after you have already been shot in the legs.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      He is not a hero. He was saving his own life in the process!

      June 1, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      @Jon – He is a hero. If he had tried to get away from the grenade, rather than risking his life by going towards it to throw it away (I'm assuming it didn't land in his lap), then he'd be trying to save his own life. He sacrificed his hand and risked his life to save his fellow soldiers, something you would obviously never do.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Keith Hosford

    GOD Bless You, Leroy Petry. My highest admiration to you Sarge.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Another ignoramus here. No wonder the politicians in Washington are so delighted.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    This man chose to be there since he was not drafted. He knew the odds but most people don't see it that way and that's a pity. But going to war nowadays is big business,sadly enough without any regard to right or wrong!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      He and men and women like him go to war so that people like you can write stupid and insulting messages on boards such as this one. You really don't have a clue, do you? It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sam Smith

    Any Purple Heart should earn its recipient lifetime compensation.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Reality


    June 1, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Deathstalker

    It is all well and good to get a Metal what he really should get though is money and lots of it. I hope we give it to him for saving some lives and giving up his hand in the process.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. Deathstalker

    Metal oops medal!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    8 tours and a Ranger tab?? My God. This guy has given so much. I wish him peace.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • A

      Tom: Sgt. 1st Class Petry embodies what it means to be a Ranger. He, like so many others have made great sacrifices, and he did so while saving other Rangers' lives. What a brave man!
      What you may not know is there are several soldiers in this unit who have deployed into the teens. Ranger tabs are required to progress within Batt., so most everyone above E4 or 5 is tabbed. They are an amazing group of men, and I'm proud my husband who is also in 2/75.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jack Ass

    A lot of people dont understand why soldiers do things like this. in a battle, you'll do anything to save your comrades. great job, Ranger

    June 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      More right-wing mumbo-jumbo. At least the screen name is appropriate,anyway.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
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