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. The Dude is a Pansy

    Hey Dude.....you are the very panty waste that makes this great nation laugh.....wellfare, pOs....if you are an american, you should be ashamed of the waste of egg and sperm that created you. I dare you to say this to the face of any american military service member....you'de get your ass kicked, and we would all see you cry like the little girl you are....
    signed: USMC/USAF/USN/USARMY.

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

      I'm not a member of any military force, I do not support any of the current conflicts in the midle east, yet i would stand in line just to put my foot up his #**. Do not blame our soldiers for a war started by politicians. They are brave man and woman who do the job they are ordered to.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. USARMY 1992

    This is a typical comment from someone who has not done a thing with their own life and is envious of others.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. justiniowa

    He lost a hand while saving two of his friends' lives. What have you done with your life besides sit on CNN.com mocking your betters?

    June 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Layne

      Please don't ask what he does with his hand.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Veritas

    @Dood – You obviously have no means of separating the heroic acts of this man and the jealousy you feel because on your best day, his stool sample does more before 9 am than you "dood" all day.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pauletteb

    This brave solider lost his hand making sure you retain the right to remain as stupid.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCMC

      Wrong. He lost his hand in a pointless war that has nothing to do with the freedoms of anyone anywhere.
      If you can show me how Afghanistan was threatening our Western freedoms then you sir deserve a medal.
      Heroic act in a stupid, pointless war.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sublime

      YOur political opinion has nothing to do with a man having his hand blown off trying to save two other people. You can say we shouldn't be over there until you're blue in the face, but regardless, until you blow your hand off saving someone else (I don't even care if you're committing a crime in the process) you have nothing on this dude.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      I can show you about 3000 reasons, all from Sept 11, 2001. The then government of Afghanistan supported that attack. Notice who is no longer in power in Afghanistan.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      Who are YOU and why should anybody care what You think???? You obviously have some pointless axe to grind that has absolutely NOTHING to do with this article about a heroic act of bravery. Please crawl back under your bridge and STFU!

      June 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Do you make it a point to NOT read a response before responding back? AGAIN I said what that Sgt did had NOTHING to with our freedoms, or protecting us back home, it had EVERYTHING to do with him protecting his men, PERIOD. Kapish????

      June 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • jarhead6353

      Your an idiot, plain and simple, kapish.? Take your beef up with your fellow professional bedwetters, or fill out a hurt feelings form and send it to some people that care what you think.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIJohn

      Harboring Osama Bin Laden and the upper portion of his terror network. Giving them the training grounds and materials to train terrorists in the skills used for a variety of attacks carried out and attempted. Providing the materials and facilities used to make the materials that couldn't be improvised on-site.

      Need anything else? Afghanistan under the Taliban was as big a threat to the lives of Americans, Arabs, Christians, and Muslims as Germany was under Adolf Hitler. The only difference was in the assets available to them – the goals were effectively the same.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      So what do you do? Just sit on your A$$ and live the freedom that others have given too you without charge? You act so Fu**ing intelligent, but your really full of S*i*. Take it out on the politicians, not the people serving.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Hey you,if you want to spew that Tea Party lingo here,do it under your own name,please! As I'm no Tea Partier myself,I hate the lingo and I'm sick and tired of all this right-wing bla-bla-bla about what a hero this dude is. The Russians did some of the same things there and nobdy talks about them. After all,we have no more right to be there than the Russians did back in the 1980's!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      I hope they enforce the draft, and you are forced to go over there to that pointless region of the world, and see for yourself how illigitmate of a threat it is.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • HMC

      MCMC, where have you been the last 10 years? Don't you know that the terrorists were allowed to roam free and train while based in Af? They cannnot do that now.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LMNGUY

    wow. now that guy is a hero!!! courage!!!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pauletteb

    This brave solider lost his hand making sure you retain the right to remain stupid.

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

      You can say that again.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil

      Not to denigrate what he did. But exactly how was he protecting anything but his fellow soldiers? The bond there transcends, race, religion, and even patriotism. His actions did not make anyone in America safer, protect their freedoms, (almost gone these days) or do anything but demonstrate the quality of his training, loyalty to his men, and personal integrity.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou Cypher

      And sometimes that's all it takes to save lives.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      It's not about protecting US, it's about what he did for his men, because when you're in country and in combat, the ONLY thing that matters are the guys next to you.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • dean IN

      You probably would have to be an American Soldier to better understand the sacrafice he was willing to make for his country.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Old BEar

      In the final analysis you fight for your buddies first, family and love ones second and "country" a distant third. He did what he did and it took courage and ability regardless of everything else. Any of us who have actually served in combat understand this and understand what he did. Let's hope VA comes through for him. HE deserves the best.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLV

      It's true that at the lowest level all he was doing was protecting his fellow soldiers and at that specific moment that was all he was doing. However, that moment was part of a larger series of events that are about protecting his country. 1. He was involved in a foreign country that has been the host of people that not only suppressed the people there, but also used it as a base of operations to train people to attack worldwide. And since America is part of the world it got included in those attacks. By taking the fight there those people are distracted from attacking America directly. By being involved in those operations he is protecting his country. His troops by being involved in those operations keep these enemies of America distracted and off balance. So that they have a harder time attacking America, thus protecting America. And in protecting his troops, they can continue those operations and future ones, thus they can keep protecting America by protecting the people and the land of those countries from being exploited to attack America as well as directly attack the people who would attack America. One act that may not be consciously directed, may still indirectly contribute to the overall goal. It is just another tree in the forest.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. steve

    Hey Dude,

    Thanks for being a recruiting tool on what's wrong with people on the Internet who like to talk big but are actually just little trolls. This guy will always be more of a man than you will every be. I feel sorry for you.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Screaming Eagle

    If anyone has anything negative to post, do it somewhere else. This man is a true hero and deserves nothing but respect. Most of you cowards would have turned tail and ran. It takes a cast iron pair to do what he did. I salute you SFC Petry.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      It's called the first amendment,. You and i might not agree with it, but these people are free to express their opinions whenever and wherever they want.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elaine Connelly

    TO THE DUDE:
    You are really a piece of work. What a moron. Your hatred for this country and it's military shows through loud and clear. God will deal with you. If I were to have to deal with you, you would be groveling at my feet.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Josh

    A true American hero. Thank you for serving our country proud.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. r4bbit

    Thank You Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry .I salute you Sir ~

    Anonymous U.S. (SSG)

    June 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Billy

    Is anyone paying attention? The grenade landed near him. He was saving his own butt. And now he's being rewarded. There's no such thing as a good deed.

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

      While the only action you see is from playing the game medal of honor, loser

      June 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • sdrawkcab

      Billy, you are a sad, sad little man. To make an ass of yourself in front of hundreds of thousands of people reflects a deep self hatred. I can understand why you hate yourself. You are a loser nobody, & will never be anything else.

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

      The best deed for you would involve placing the barrel of a .25 acp in your mouth, pointing it towards the top of your head, and pulling the trigger

      June 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Oh Billy, such a pathetic and weak man, no one will ever call you William

      June 1, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kacey

      If you would read the story on a website that tells the whole story, you would find that the grenade landed within killing range of him, and 5 other rangers. His actions likely saved every one of their lives. Only one ranger involved later died from his wounds. This was not about just saving his own a**, but the lives of his fellow soldiers. This medal is truly deserved. Hooah!

      June 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sdrawkcab

    Eight tours of duty in war zones? ? ? Hell, he should win the Medal of Honor just for that. You da man Sarge.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Global Crow

    Ladies and Gentleman ! The military just doesnt pass out this particular medal to anyone . There is intensive investications that take place Brigade, battalion, company and squad wide to see if this could have actually been a qualified recipient of the medal of honor. The smallest detail can kick this award back regardlessI There are guidlines set by congress to insure FACT from FICTION, and for the rest of his life, people and some fellow military personnel will possibly question his heroics ... ...but only he, and his brothers will know the truth.....Therefore I salute him ! HUAH!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
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