Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions in Afghanistan.
Petry is the second living recipient of the highest military award for bravery. Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was the first living warrior to receive the award last November.
“It’s very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day, to nominate me for that,” said Petry.
Petry and a fellow Army Ranger, 1st Class Lucas Robinson, were securing an outer courtyard of a residential building in Paktya, Afghanistan, when an enemy insurgent fired on them, wounding them both. As a third soldier, Sgt. Daniel Higgins moved toward their position, Petry threw a grenade near the enemy location. After Higgins reached the two Rangers to assess their wounds, an insurgent threw a grenade at the three Rangers, wounding Higgins. Another grenade was thrown at the injured soldiers, landing close to them. The wounded Petry risked his life by picking up the live grenade and throwing it back at the enemy. He saved the lives of Higgins and Robinson, but the grenade detonated upon release and amputated his right hand.
The Medal of Honor is awarded for deeds of bravery or self-sacrifice deemed above and beyond the call of duty. Petry disregarded his own personal safety and made the conscious decision to risk his life to save his fellow Rangers.
“If not for Staff Sergeant Petry’s actions, we would have been seriously wounded or killed,” said Higgins in a written statement.
President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Petry on July 12, 2011.
Read the full account of Petry’s actions. Source: Army News Service
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