Special Forces are considered the military’s elite – the Rangers, Green Berets, and Navy SEALS among others. And the elite of the elite are the Special Forces who have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
Two of them were recognized this week and their names added to the Special Operations Memorial Wall of Honor at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, an Army Ranger, watched as his name was unveiled. It is one of 45 names etched into the black granite tiles.
His Medal of Honor citation states that Petry risked his life above and beyond the call of duty and “undeniably saved his fellow Rangers” on May 26, 2008.
“I still look at the day and I’m still in amazement that I’m here,” Petry told reporters after the ceremony. “My youngest son (Landon) said it the best. He said ‘I’m really proud of my dad but more happy that some of his friends are still alive.’”
Petry was on his sixth deployment to Afghanistan. His team was attacked while clearing a compound of suspected insurgents. He was shot in both legs, took cover and fired back. Then a grenade hit wounding two Rangers just behind him. Petry turned and spotted a second grenade next to his wounded men. He picked it up to throw it as hard as he could.
“As soon as my hand opened up, the grenade exploded and I sat back up and my hand was completely gone at the wrist like it had been severed with a circular saw,” Petry said with the analytical calmness of a professional soldier. “It went through my mind for a split second, why isn’t the blood squirting into the air, then reality kicked in. I got back to my good medical training put on a tourniquet, called up on the radio, checked on my younger guys.”
Petry remained coherent, insisting his fellow Rangers be cared for first. He wanted to get back in the fight. (more…)
Filed under: Afghanistan, Deployment, Military families, U.S. Army | Tagged: Afghanistan, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Miller, Leroy Petry, Medal of Honor, Special forces, US Special Operations Command | 3 Comments »