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. capt_dragon

    Medal of Honor for this??? Think about it, anyone would pick up a grenade and throw it away from them if it fell near them.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rsprings

      You are correct BUT...he did what he did and it saved his life and several others in a tense combat situation. You are hereby demoted to PVT:dragon

      June 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeDeservesItApparently

      WOW... Bitter much? You not getting the attention you think you deserve? Whether he was throwing the grenade back to save himself or those around him, the fact is he tossed it away. Survival instincts? Yes. We would all do the same thing. But in the process of him doing so, he lost his hand and saved the lives of the ones around him. He deserves this Medal of Honor, as do so many others who have been fighting this war.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Ever been in combat dude? Or is that 'capt' in your handle just your video game name? MOST people would dive away from a grenade, but a trained soldier knows he has a certain amount of time before detonation, and although he lost a hand, he got it away from him and his boys before more damdage could've been done.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      Anybody get the impression that some of these posts are from the same Troll?

      June 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denman

      Hey Cap'n! Captian Dragon? Ooohhh...that's sure some kinda name. Just...go away, okay? No, no, no...take your hands off the keyboard. You really can't redeem yourself after a comment with that level of ignorance. No more posts for you. JUST. GO. AWAY.

      (I swear. Ya just can't fix stupid.)

      June 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      You couldn't be more wrong C_dragon. Instinct (not to mention ALL training received while in the Army) dictates that you flinch away (seek cover) when confronted with extreme and immediate danger. The Army drills it into your head (yell grenade, dive for COVER). This fine NCO did exactly the opposite and saved lives. I would love to throw a grenade at you and see how you react.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hal

    Thank you Sgt. Petry! You are a hero!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rizztex

    For every Afghan that picks up a weapon against US troops there are 100 other Afghans that are friendly as much as US troops are friendly back. Take your PC BS somewhere else..

    June 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeddyN

      You happen to bring up, in a put down sort of way, that Obama played Basketball on Memorial day. I'm assuming you missed him laying the wreath, I assume you for forgot who gave the order from the top to get Osama. Im sure you forgot who said "Mission accomplished" Was a great job by the Sergeant and he deserves the honor

      June 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rodger Over and Out

    And you are just mental.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alex

    Give this man the medal and then free tuition for his children anywhere they want to go to school.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      I second that. We too often forget the sacrifices made by the soldiers families and friends.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Idiocracy

    Thank you, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PeterD

    The Medal of Honor is just a PR propoganda for Recruitment.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Yeah that's the PR you want to show a recruit, IDIOT.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      Yep! Join the military, get shot up and your hand blown off (or usually DEAD) and we'll give you (or your surviving spouse) a nice blue ribbon with a medal hanging off it. GREAT PR tool, TOOL!

      June 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rodger is an (fill in the blank)

    Rodger. You unenlightened rambling idiot. Pat Tillman (or as you say Pat Tilman) has nothing to do with this. And until you have had the nerve or conviction to stand for anything other than complaing, do the rest of us that actually do something a favor and just sit in your chair and play video games or whatever you do. I'd take a WWII mentality over your apparent I hate this country mentality. If we all took your stance, you would not have the rights to make your pathetic comments.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      Roger, relax. Your effort to use common sense and logic will be wasted on these rambling idiots. (No, keep saying it. Maybe someone will get it.)

      I'm not a vet, been in some tight spots, but nothing that comes close to what warriors go through. Nonetheless, I have a brain and can put myself in their shoes just enough to realize what an incredible act this was.

      I have my political views and I don't agree with everything that's going on. But my rule is that respecting and honoring soldiers MUST stay separate from politics. If we didn't learn that from Vietnam then we are doomed to repeat the past.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Colleen

    THIS is what a hero looks like!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sean

    True hero, that's all that needs to be said.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • trex

      No greater love than to die for your friends. I think someone of GREAT importance said something like that.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      No such thing.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thomas

    Thank you for referring to it as the Medal of Honor. Far too often news media calls it the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • BluntForce

      Congressional Medal of Honor!
      Congressional Medal of Honor!
      Congressional Medal of Honor!
      Congressional Medal of Honor!
      Congressional Medal of Honor!
      Congressional Medal of Honor!
      Congressional Medal of Honor!
      A lot of people in the military even call it the Congressional Medal of Honor!
      Why is it that when someone is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor someone has to make a post berating people for calling it the Congressional Medal of Honor!

      June 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou Cypher

      @BluntForce – because there is no such award as the "Congressional Medal of Honor", numbnuts. Look it up.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rider658

    For you armchair warriors/ITGs who say "He was just saving himself." – you need to read the whole story. He not only threw the grenade back (after already being wounded in both legs), but after it exploded and he lost his hand, he put a tourniquet on the arm and CONTINUED to fight, killing the last insurgent. This guy has big brass ones. He deserves the Medal and anything else our government can offer him.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick H

      The article says he applied a tourniquet and called for help...where do you get "continued to fight, killing the last insurgent?"

      June 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • NickBurr85

      8 tours...enough said.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • jj

      @Rick H. thats why you should read and understand what you are reading before leaving a comment. rider said if you read the WHOLE story. most likely indicating that cnn's version is just a fraction of the real incident report like they usually do.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoS

      There are other news agencies out there besides CNN. In fact, if you want more accurate and in depth reporting, I recommend you check other sources after reading CNN. You will be amazed how much information CNN regularly leaves out.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    Your post is pathetic and most of all, unkind to this extraordinary soldier

    June 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. andy


    June 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kormallain

    No amount of badmouthing tarnishes the above the call of duty actions of this ranger. Often I read and hear bad talk and insults directed at the soldiers,marines,airmen and sailors of our great country. Yes i am a peace loving libertarien hippie, but i will never badmouth the members of our armed forces. It is for thier bravery, that i can be that hippie. If you wish to blame somebody, blame the politicians that YOU have elected, for starting wars that might be unjust. Thank you Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry , for your service and if you ever find your self in my part of this country, know that there is a pat on the back and a cold beer waiting for you.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      Man, I wish there were more hippies like you that saw the big picture. Thanks for calling it how it is.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
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