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. Mike

    This soldier certainly deserves this award, acting to save his fellow Rangers, losing his hand and still continuing to fight. Eight tours of duty - amazing. Well done, Sergeant Petry.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hingedlwnb

    I salute Sgt. Petry and thank him and all veterans here for their service. I mean no disrespect but a father of four serving eight (eight!) tours of duty indicates to me some difficulty in acclimating to civilian life. I hope someone in official capacity is sensing that he may need some counselling.

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

      Interesting diagnosis. What year did you get your psychiatry degree from Armchair University?

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

      As I said I meant no disrespect. What year did you get your blinders degree from Kneejerk University.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      Your points are well founded indeed, hinged. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. I assure you, the Regiment is fully aware of the criticality of providing all necessary supports for their returning Rangers. Theirs is a unique and demanding mission. They are the most well trained Infantrymen in the world and completely understand the demands that will be placed on them. This is not to say that many DON'T suffer lasting psychological issues (kinda' comes with the territory). There is help for them (as there is for ALL servicemembers). Again, thank you.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    You cant AMPUTATE, an arm with a grenade. It may require amputation, however, the writers' choice of words was not the best.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Davis

      Well since amputation may occur both as a result of trauma OR surgery I think that the choice of words fits just fine. Obviously, that fact is why the writer is writing the article....and not you. You just got OWNED. WOOO!

      June 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. wow

    I love the people on here armchair quarterbacking this guy! Would you sit in an OR and criticize a trauma surgeon as he or she is elbows deep in someone's guts trying to save their life? Unless you are a surgeon, probably not.

    If you don't have combat arms experience, then you probably need to keep your ridiculous criticisms to yourselves – it makes you sound dumb. Or get out of the chair, go to infantry OSUT, airborne, RIP, ranger school, deploy for 8 short tours, and become a SFC – then you can criticize this guy all you want.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      I don't know. In my opinion I think people can have their opinion on anything regardless of their life experiences. We may not always agree with them but they can have their opinion. Its also very hard to know or validate anyones life story when you are reading a few sentences on a random CNN message board. So with that said....take a few breaths....calm down....enjoy life.

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

      These people in the military are the ones that protect stupid morons like you their right to free speech
      Without them you would not be able to express you lack of knowledge on anything in a public forum, without fear of retribution

      June 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      I never said that they didn't Monzar.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jay

    Who cares if he was "just saving himself" at least he was out there fighting and not playing war video games on the couch at home acting like he was a special forces guy. Get over yourselves. He deserves it. If he didn't throw it (which the other 2 didn't do) then they all would have died.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Do you have something against people who pay video games?

      June 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Hey Dave, only against gamers who think they can comment because they've seen (virtual) action. Every American should serve in the military, then they will better appreciate the freedom that is earned and appreciate the men and women who served. Get off the couch or shut up.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I would say that less than 1% of gamers truly believe that they have experienced something similar to real combat on a gaming console. Based on the fact that there is even people out there who believe that.....I don't think that everyone should serve in the military.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jimzcarz

    Thank you for your service Sargent. You are a true Hero

    June 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gary

    The United States is very fortunate to have patriots like Sgt. Petry who put service before self. Thank you to all military members who sacrifice and serve to keep our flag flying high above the rest of the world. We are truly blessed to have you.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. r4bbit

    Stand down ' Billy ' or face some hard online military discipline . Sic him soldiers ! Plus your dead wrong.Obviously you have never heard of military training . Or faced it . Sweat of the brow , and an installation that can never be uninstalled .

    June 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. T-rex

    He's done enough there. Bring him home to his wife and kids.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jeff

    As a Marine, I personally do not believe this warrants the Medal of Honor. Then 1stSgt Kasal, now he deserved it.

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

      The closest you've ever come to being a marine is Black Ops

      June 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Why do all Marines HAVE to agree he deserved it. This guy makes a very good point about Sgt Major Bradley Kasal.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      Guess what, Jeff? We don't give a sh!t what you "personally think"...

      June 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      TCP are you saying that Kasal didn't deserve the medal of honor? Jeff just raised a great point and all you do is berate him rather than discuss? I don't agree that the most recent recipient described above didn't deserve it but if you know Kasal's story I will respect his opinion.

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

      Not saying that at all, Dave. What Jeff did was minimize this SFCs actions. I'm sure SGM Kasal would NOT be on board with that sentiment.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      TCP- I don’t think any of us can speak for Kasal but I tend to agree that he is probably fine with his Navy Cross and would give this Marine MOH winner his full support. However, I don’t think it is out of line for anyone to compare the two situations and have the opinion that what Kasal did was just as brave or braver.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I agree 100% Louis.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Thanks Dave, just realized that I wrote "Marine MOH winner". Meant "Army" obviously.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mcbwaa

    GO GO POWER RANGERS!!!!!!!!!

    Boys/Girls in the armed service = TEH AWESUM

    June 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kelli

    I cried when I read this. What sacrifice all of our service men and women do for us all so that we may live in this country free...

    June 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • crookedarm

      Nah, only the democrats and illegals get to live here for free. 🙂

      June 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andy

    People have done much more than this and gotten much less for it. It is quite amazing though that he's served 6 tours.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alex

    Thank you for your valiant service. It is time for us to stop sacrificing great men like you on the altar of helping those who hate us to like us more. Let's gtfo of Afghanistan. If they attack us, then bomb the crap out of them. Same thing with Iraq, Pakistan, Lybia, or anywhere else in the world where we are helping our enemies.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Smokey Waterz

    Petry is a true Hero, in every sense of the word.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
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