A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Ranger who lost his right hand while protecting fellow soldiers from a live grenade will become the second living service member to earn a Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, the White House announced Tuesday.
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, 31, will receive his medal from President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony July 12. He continues to serve at Lewis-McChord with a 75th Ranger Regiment headquarters unit.
Petry is not available for other interviews, and his regiment is not discussing his honor for now, a Ranger spokeswoman said.
Petry lost his hand and suffered shrapnel injuries during an operation in Paktya, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008.
He was already wounded when an enemy fighter tossed a grenade into a chicken coop where he was taking cover with two other soldiers. He picked up the weapon, which exploded as he threw it and severed his hand.
Petry, a New Mexico native, will be the ninth service member to earn a Medal of Honor during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seven of those were awarded posthumously.
Last year, Staff Sgt. Salvator Giunta became the first living, active-duty soldier to earn the military’s highest honor when Obama awarded him a Medal of Honor for his heroism in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
Petry has deployed eight times in his Army career. He has received two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and three Army Commendation Medals.
He and his wife, Ashley, have four children, Brittany, Austin, Reagan and Landon.
02 June 2011
Medal of Honor to be awarded for Afghanistan
ZUI this article from the Tacoma (WA) News-Tribune: