On July 12, 2011, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barak Obama at the White house. He is one of nine who have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in the Iraq-Afghanistan campaigns. Seven were awarded posthumously.
At the time of his actions in Afghanistan, Sgt. 1st Class Petry was stationed with Company D, 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment, which is out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. He has been deployed eight times since 9/11, twice to Iraq and six times to Afghanistan.
It was during his last deployment to Afghanistan that his Ranger platoon entered and cleared a house in a village in the Pakti province of Afghanistan. When he and Pvt. 1st Class Lucas Robinson entered the courtyard of the house, an enemy insurgent hiding there opened fire on them. Both Rangers were hit. A single bullet penetrated both of Sgt. Petry’s legs. He was able to get himself and Pvt. Robinson to a chicken coop for cover, and reported the action over his radio.
Sgt. Daniel Higgins came to their aid and assessed their wounds during a lull in the action. A grenade thrown by the enemy landed nearby and knocked all three of them down. A second grenade fell nearby and, though wounded already, Sgt. Petry got to it, picked it up, and threw it just as it exploded. It blew off his right hand, and shrapnel also entered other parts of his body, but he had saved the others from certain terrible injury or death. He remained calm, tying a tourniquet around his own arm and reporting the action and his own injuries over the radio.
At that point another insurgent opened fire on them from another area of the courtyard. Higgins and Robinson opened fire on that position and silenced it. Petry, Higgins, and Robinson survived the incident, though sadly, one of their comrades was fatally wounded.
Sgt. 1st Class Petry did what he was trained to do. His actions, though, went above and beyond that call to duty. In this award, we as a nation, have a rare opportunity to honor and to get to know a living recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Sgt. Petry is from Santa Fe, NM. He is currently assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at Fort Benning, GA. He is liaison for the SOCOM Care Coalition tracking and monitoring injured Rangers.
We at the Veterans Site wish to add our thanks and compliments to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, whose actions honored himself, his fellow rangers, the Army, his family, and our nation. We are proud to honor you here. Thank you for your courageous service to us all.