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

    This guy did good, don't get me wrong, but the War he is fighting has ZERO to do with Americas freedom and everything to do with Corporate Americas interests.

    Enjoy your little hunk of worthless metal and polyester ribbon. I am glad you saved your friends...but this war is a pointless endeavor and if you support it you are helping to destroy this country you claim to love.

    Pvt Manning deserves this medal more.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Muppet Show

      Yup. We all are just here as drones for the elitist queen bees. We get rewarded by being allowed to eat or have a roof over our heads. Woo!

      June 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Chris

      No matter what the reason we went there this guy volunteered to go Ranger. He is living up to his commitment and oath. The President says go, he goes. Now Pvt Manning did not. He pretty much committed treason. No matter if the intentions of right and wrong he broke his oath and tried giving away secret info. Did you also know he punched a female officer in the face and got demoted?

      June 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. who cares

    Soldiers also kill people, they should give them awards for that. Who cares big deal

    June 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hey

    two tours of duty in Iraq and six in Afghanistan.... that is too much fighting.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      He is a warmonger.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fletch

    RLTW! Enough said.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MM

    A true hero. Someone who puts the safety of others before that of his own! 6 tours – now that is bad ass!

    June 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Actually, it was 6 in Afganistan and 2 in Iraq, so 8 reported. A true hero.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Boruch N. Hoffinger

    Wonderful person!
    Noble and heroic!

    June 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. scott

    glad we don,t have people like you protecting our country

    June 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kyser

    seemingly most of the people here forget that a SPC lost his life trying to aide the three wounded rangers, he is deserving as well.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rosslaw

    It's gratifying to hear that a soldier performing like Sgt. Petry survives his own heroism to enjoy the accolades of his peers. This guy will never buy his own beer again anywhere near Fort Benning nor should he.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. who cares

    I did my time saw a lot of things that I disagreed with. In war and back home. War is EVIL. There is no good that comes from it. Don't even try to argue that. So we make heroes out of soldiers who murder innocent people. Yes you can't always avoid things, but ask yourself why are we there? what is the real reason behind all these "campaigns"? Only the government knows and they don't tell the american people. If you haven't been to war, you know NOTHING and your opinions mean nothing. We complain about our government yet we are the ones who elect these people. WE should be the ones to blame. Wake up america! Our founding fathers would be ashames at what it has become today. All the blood sweat and tears they had to go thru to make this country what is was. Now it seems like it's falling apart. I definately see a revolution in the future.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      I'd hardly call armed Taliban innocent people dude. I've also been in country, and regardless of how you feel, or what you saw, the fact remains that if this sargeant were next to you in the heat of battle, and already wounded in both legs, and had the freaking wherewithall and b-a-l-l-s to pick up that grenade to save your a-s-s, then I'd say YOU would care.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yakobi.

      I take comfort in knowing that so many men and women paid the ultimate price so that you could spew your idiocy here today.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zac McG

      "Innocent people" were the ones throwing the grenades and shooting both his legs, right? You should see a shrink, seems like you lost your marbles in the war. Sorry you didn't get a medal of honor and no one considers you a hero,

      but this dude is a badass.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • I do

      If you are so negative, why did you even read the article? Obviously you have no idea what this country or our military are about. I say to you that if you don't love this country then find one you do and move there! You are a POS and not needed here.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      You have NEVER deployed!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PCola Vet

    As MOST Sarge's do, they look out for their men. Way to exeplify that 1st Sgt.

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

    What a great and heroic act. Already wounded, and saved at least 2 other Rangers. Its a shame more people aren't this selfless in the real world.

    On top of that, he served 2 tours in Iraq and 6 in Afghan, that is a huge sacrifice.

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

      For real... What does a soldier have to do to get some time stateside? 8 tours??? Come on!

      THANK YOU to all our brave and selfless men and women serving so that we can sit here and talk about things we know nothing about. I, for one... am eternally grateful.

      If you see a uniform, stop and thank them. You have no idea what hell they go through, and how much your thanks means.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jaydubbe

    I hate to say this, but this action is more in line with a bronze or silver star. This is not at par with Sgt. York or Audie Murphy. I would imagine that, in the course of many wars, guys have picked up and thrown grenades back a the enemy (lost limb or not), and weren't awarded the action. God bless him and his service, but we are turning into a nation of instant-gratification seekers. Future generations won't have any idea what hard work is if we keep lowering the bar.

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

      I agree... he saw a grenade roll right next to him., what are his options? 1 – throw it back, 2 – lie on top of it, or 3 – just stare at it as it goes boom. Honestly, I doubt anyone would do #3 if they were capable of doing the first two (and #2 sounds more like a Medal of Honor action than the first). I thought the Medal of Honor was for those who went above and beyond to protect their country or fellow soldiers, this just seems like something that any person would do if a grenade landed in front of you.

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

      There's a part of me that wants to agree with you, but it's hard to say, "I know you lost your arm, but you're not as awesome as the guy who lost his life." It was a heroic act, and it's hard to say it's less heroic simply because the man is still alive, or because he potentially saved two other lives instead of ten. War is enough of a bitter pill without turning it into a scoring game back home.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mercenary76

    We are honored by your service .

    June 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    Congratulation's Mr. Petry. You are a remarkable individual and deserving of this award. I am sure the families of the men you helped protect feel the same. Thank you for defending our freedom. Your family must be overwhelmed with pride. Now how many of us really get to know what that feels like. Not many.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
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