Wounded Soldier to Receives Medal of Honor at the White House
Army News Service
Today the President awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry. Sergeant Petry is the
second living Medal of Honor recipient to have earned the award for service during the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan. It was an incredible event.
Sergeant Petry, an Army Ranger, was honored for his actions during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2008. While
on a high-risk daytime mission, Petry and two of his comrades were injured by enemy fire. Despite his wounds,
Petry continued to lead his soldiers, dragging one who had been injured to cover. When an enemy grenade
landed near him and his comrades, Sergeant Petry moved toward the grenade and picked it up to throw it back –
saving the lives of his fellow Rangers. As he cocked his arm to lob the live grenade away, it exploded. Petry lost
his hand, but did not give up the fight. He tied a tourniquet around his own bleeding arm and continued to direct
the operation, working to ensure the safety of his comrades until the end of the operation.
Sergeant Petry’s heroism has earned the admiration of us all. But as the President observed at the award
ceremony, Petry is also a reminder that heroism is alive and well in America. We can find examples almost
everywhere we look:
Our heroes are all around us. They’re the force behind the force—military spouses like Ashley, who during Leroy’
s many deployments, during missed birthdays and holidays, has kept this family Army Strong. They’re military
children, like Brittany, Austin, Reagan and seven-year old Landon, who at the end of a long day is there to gently
rub his dad’s injured arm.
Sergeant Petry was in training to become a Ranger on the morning of September 11, 2001. Upon hearing the
terrible news that America had been attacked, he and his fellow trainees were told to “keep training - you might be
going to war.” Months later, Petry landed in Afghanistan on the first of seven deployments. Petry’s service to his
country and to his comrades has been outstanding, and he’s not done: Though he could have retired and
received full benefits, Sergeant Petry chose to re-enlist.
In his selfless service, Sergeant Petry is an example for all Americans. And he is just one of thousands of young
people who lined up to defend this country after we were attacked, and who continue to do so. Through ten long
years of war, our men and women in uniform have served selflessly, sacrificing more than many of us can imagine
– sometimes sacrificing all. In the words of the President, they “have earned their place among the greatest of
generations.” They and their families deserve our admiration and respect for all they have given us.
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