Entries in Leroy Petry (3)


Pentagon Honors Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry was honored at the Pentagon Wednesday for the heroism that cost him his right hand but saved the lives of two of his fellow soldiers.

Petry is only the second living recipient of the nation's highest award for valor in the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.

President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Petry on Tuesday at a White House ceremony, at which he said the Army Ranger's service "speaks to the very essence of America -- the spirit that says no matter how hard the journey, no matter how steep the climb, we don't quit."

Wednesday afternoon, the Army Ranger was inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes at a standing-room-only event in the Pentagon auditorium that included among its VIPs Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, attending his first public event at the Pentagon since arriving two weeks ago.

A veteran Washington insider, Panetta said it was a privilege that one of his first acts as defense secretary was to honor a great American hero.

At the ceremony, Petry said, "As you have recognized me today, I ask that you continue to pay tribute and never forget those Rangers and all other men and women of the armed services that have made the ultimate sacrifice," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Army Ranger Leroy Petry to Receive Medal of Honor

U.S. Army(WASHINGTON) -- At a White House ceremony Tuesday, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, an Army Ranger, will become only the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Petry lost his right hand while throwing a live grenade away from his fellow soldiers.

Petry will become the ninth service member to receive the nation's highest award for valor in those conflicts. Until Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was honored with the award last year for his heroism in Afghanistan, the previous awards had been made posthumously. Like Giunta, Petry will be honored for actions while serving in Afghanistan.

When it was announced in late May that he had been selected to receive the medal, Petry said in a brief statement, "It's very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day, to nominate me for that."

That day was May 26, 2008, when Petry and his fellow Rangers were conducting a rare daylight raid on a Taliban compound in eastern Afghanistan's Paktia Province. As the senior non-commissioned officer, Petry, 31, was to have played an oversight role in the raid. But he quickly found himself in the fight when one of the assaulting squads needed extra help.

After securing a building in the compound, Petry and Pfc. Lucas Robinson entered a courtyard to take on three enemy fighters readying to fire on soldiers at the other end of the courtyard.  They immediately came under fire and Petry was shot by a round that went through both of his legs.  Although wounded, Petry led Robinson to take cover behind a chicken coop.  Another Ranger, Sgt. Daniel Higgins, came to help his wounded soldiers.

But a short time later, Higgins and Robinson were wounded by a grenade thrown at them by one of the Taliban fighters.  Then, another grenade landed in their midst.  It was at that moment that Petry, already wounded in the legs, lunged for the live grenade to throw it away from his fellow Rangers.

But just as he did so, the grenade exploded in his right hand.

Remarkably, Petry placed a tourniquet on his right arm then reported by radio that he and the other two Rangers had been wounded and were still under enemy fire.

Eventually, the Taliban fighters were killed by other soldiers, but not before one of them fatally shot Spc. Christopher Gathercole, who had arrived to help Petry, Higgins and Robinson.

Since enlisting in the Army in 1999, Petry, who now wears a high-tech robotic artificial hand, has served almost his entire Army career as a Ranger and has deployed twice to Iraq and six times to Afghanistan.  He continues to serve on active duty as a liaison officer with wounded warriors and plans to remain a soldier. The married father of four recently re-enlisted for another eight years of Army service.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Award His Third Medal of Honor to SFC Leroy Petry

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Just weeks after President Obama confused his Medal of Honor recipients, referring to a soldier who received the award posthumously as being alive, the White House officially announced Thursday that the President will award his third Medal of Honor on July 12 to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry for his courageous actions in Afghanistan.

According to the Army News Service, Petry lost his right hand and suffered severe wounds after throwing a grenade away from his fellow soldiers during combat with armed Afghan insurgents on May 26, 2008.

The grenade later exploded and Petry’s action was credited with saving the lives of his comrades.

Petry, who has completed multiple combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq totaling 28 months of deployment, will be the second living, active-duty service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was the first to receive the honor last year. President Obama has also awarded the Medal posthumously to Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006.

The Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States, “is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty,” according to the White House announcement released Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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