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. Tiff

    What an amazing man/soldier to have went through all of that (clearly in pain from being shot) and still have the quick sense to grab and throw the grenade back. He saved lives and he deserves this honor and so much more!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard T

      Agreed, you could not have said it any better. This is the kind of man that has made this country great. He deserves this honor and our absolute respect. I salute you, sir, and Thank You for your service to our country and to us civilians. Blessings to you and your family-

      June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. SPRQ

    Dei plena sunt omnia. Deo gratia.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike in SA

    Nicely done, SFC Petry. As a retired Army MSG, you exemplify the NCO Corps to the fullest. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • JDT

      This former AIr Force guy seconds that!!!!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jonathan

    Awesome....

    June 1, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. pointless1

    Pulling the race card... What a d0uche...

    June 1, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. JDT

    You're racist and a moron. He's a hero that just happens to be white. One thing is for sure, regardless of color, you'll never be a hero.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • JDT

      looks like Selmers couldn't take the heat, turned tail, and ran. Good thing we have people like Sgt Petry that aren't so easily scared...

      June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Stevareeno

    I have something in my eye. God bless this man.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. mford66215

    Amazing story, I'm glad he'll be given the Medal of Honor.

    Did I misread the story or has he served 8 tours total? "has served two tours of duty in Iraq and six in Afghanistan."

    June 1, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • T

      Mford: that's very common in Ranger Battalion, especially at his rank. Deployments are short 3-6 months. My husband has deployed nine times for a total of three years with 2/75. He isn't even up there in number of deployments...a few guys have deployed into the teens.

      Sgt. 1st Class Petry made a great sacrifice; he is a perfect example of the type of soldier who deserves this medal.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. JohnnyTekno

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_Medal_of_Honor_recipients

    Way to minimize this man's heroism with your racist agenda, Selmers.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jingoistic Drum Banger

    A kick-ass true in the flesh hero ~ and he even looks every bit the part. Sergeant Rock in the flesh.
    I often wonder if I would have the b@lls to do something like this.
    Job well done.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      You would if your brothers life depended on it!

      June 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      You would if your brother's life depended on it!

      June 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sharky

    Two tours in Iraq and six in Afghanistan? Holy crap, sarge!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Richard T

    Could you be any more stupid with a foolish comment like that?

    June 1, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. John, TN

    A great American. That was a selfless act and he should be rewarded by the country. How do you compensate such bravery??? I wish him the best!!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    The man served 8 tours of duty ...

    June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. JimmyNelson

    8 Tours total? he deserves a Medal for that alone..

    June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
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