Magazine article Army

Army Ranger SFC Petry Receives Medal of Honor

Magazine article Army

Army Ranger SFC Petry Receives Medal of Honor

Article excerpt

In a July ceremony at the White House, President Obama awarded SFC Leroy A. Petry the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry that saved the lives of two comrades in Paktya Province, Afghanistan, in May 2008. SFC Petry, who was also inducted into the Pentagon Hall òf .Heroes as part of the honor, is only the second Ew ing active-duty servicemember since the Vietnam War to receive the nation's highest military honor. The first, SSG Salvatore Giunta, was a member of the audience in the East Room of the White House when SFC Petry received the award.

SFC Petry was a staff sergeant squad leader assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in 2008, when he and his team executed a rare daylight raid against a high-value al Qaeda commander at an insurgent compound in Paktya Province. While moving to clear the courtyard of a house, SFC Petry was shot through both legs but helped PFC Lucas Robinson, who was also wounded, find cover. Still under fire, SFC Petry reported the situation as another Ranger, SGT Daniel Higgins, moved in to help. Shrapnel then wounded both Rangers when a second enemy grenade landed just a few feet from the three men.

According to the official citation, then-SSG Petry "unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds."

Born in 1979 in New Mexico, SFC Petry enlisted in the Army in September 1999. He has deployed to Iraq twice and to Afghanistan six times. He has served as a grenadier, squad automatic rifleman, fire team leader, squad leader, operations sergeant and weapons squad leader.

SFC Petry is currently assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. …

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