A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Ranger is set to become the second living service member to earn a Medal of Honor for his actions in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, 31, lost his right hand while throwing a live grenade away from his fellow Rangers during a daylight operation in Paktya, Afghanistan on May 26, 2008.
Petry was already wounded. His actions saved the lives of at least two other Rangers who were with him on the mission, the Army says.
At the time, he was serving with Lewis-McChord’s D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. The White House today cited Petry’s “conspicuous gallantry” in describing President Obama’s decision to award him the medal.
“It’s very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day, to nominate me for that,” Petry told an Army writer on learning he had been nominated for the medal.
Petry now serves with the 75th Ranger Regiment headquarters. His position calls on him to continue working with Lewis-McChord soldiers as a liaison for the Special Operations Command Care Coalition by tracking injured Rangers returning from the battlefield to their home stations. Petry has deployed eight times in his Army career.
Petry will receive his medal from President Obama at July 12 ceremony at the White House. His wife, Ashley, and other family members are expected to join him.
Obama last year awarded a Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, making him the first living service member to earn a Medal of Honor in the current wars.