Leroy Petry, an Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, is a true patriot. He was shot through both legs and he saved the lives of fellow soldiers when he picked up a grenade and threw it away from them, losing his hand in the process. He is a humble soldier who gave so much to a country which can never repay him:
After three years in uniform wearing the nation’s highest military honor, Master Sgt. Leroy Petry is ready to set aside his medal for a little while.
He says it’s time for him to build a life as a civilian, to be more than a soldier. He’s happy to ease out of the nonstop commitments that come with being the second living veteran to receive the Medal of Honor for valor in Afghanistan.
“I don’t only want to be known as Leroy Petry with the Medal of Honor,” said Petry, 34, a Steilacoom resident who’s retiring from the Army next week. “I have other goals.”
But before he could go, the Army wanted to do something special for the 15-year veteran of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s elite 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. It threw him the party of his life on Wednesday, bringing together hundreds of friends and family members who wanted to toast the soldier.
They celebrated him as much for his willingness to represent the military as a Medal of Honor recipient as they did for the heroism he showed in a May 2008 battle. Petry lost his right hand hurling a live grenade away from his wounded teammates.
“Leroy Petry, before and after the medal, represents all that is good about the American soldier,” said Adm. William McRaven, chief of the Defense Department’s Special Operations Command.
“You have handled this glorious burden with a grace and dignity that that makes the medal shine even brighter,” the admiral said.
However, months have passed since his celebrated his return home, and the realities of civilian life have hit in a bad way. He has fallen through the cracks of Obama’s Veterans Administration, and isn’t being provided the type of special home and equipment he needs to live with his disability.
However, thankfully his community joined together with the Military Warriors Support Foundation, and bought him a house. So awesome!
Thank you Leroy Petry for your service! May God Bless you.