WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 31, 2011) -- An Army Ranger who lost his right hand and suffered shrapnel wounds after throwing an armed grenade away from his fellow Soldiers will be the second living Medal of Honor Recipient from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On July 12th, President Barack Obama will award Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, with the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. Petry will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in Paktya, Afghanistan, May 26, 2008.
Petry now serves as part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga.
"It's very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day, to nominate me for that," said Petry, on learning he had been nominated for the medal.
At the time of his actions in Afghanistan, Petry was assigned to Company A, 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Petry's actions came as part of a rare daylight raid to capture a high-value target.
On the day of the actions that would earn Petry the Medal of Honor, he was to locate himself with the platoon headquarters in the target building once it was secured. Once there, he was to serve as the senior noncommissioned officer at the site for the remainder of the operation.
Recognizing one of the assault squads needed assistance clearing their assigned building, Petry relayed to the platoon leader that he was moving to that squad to provide additional supervision and guidance during the clearance of the building.
Once the residential portion of the building had been cleared, Petry took a fellow member of the assault squad, Pvt. 1st Class Lucas Robinson, to clear the outer courtyard. Petry knew that area had not been cleared during the initial clearance.
Petry and Robinson, both Rangers, moved into an area of the compound that contained at least three enemy fighters who were prepared to engage friendly forces from opposite ends of the outer courtyard.
The two Soldiers entered the courtyard. To their front was an opening followed by a chicken coop. As the two crossed the open area, an enemy insurgent fired on them. Petry was wounded by one round, which went through both of his legs. Robinson was also hit in his side plate by a separate round.
While wounded and under enemy fire, Petry led Robinson to the cover of the chicken coop. The enemy continued to deliver fire at the two Soldiers.
As the senior Soldier, Petry assessed the situation and reported that contact was made and that there were two wounded Rangers in the courtyard of the primary target building.
Upon hearing the report of two wounded Rangers, Sgt. Daniel Higgins, a team leader, moved to the outer courtyard. As Higgins was moving to Petry and Robinson's position, Petry threw a thermobaric grenade in the vicinity of the enemy position.
Shortly after that grenade exploded -- which created a lull in the enemy fire -- Higgins arrived at the chicken coop and assessed the wounds of the two Soldiers.
While Higgins evaluated their wounds, an insurgent threw a grenade over the chicken coop at the three Rangers. The grenade landed about 10 meters from the three Rangers, knocked them to the ground, and wounded Higgins and Robinson. Shortly after the grenade exploded, Staff Sgt. James Roberts and Spc. Christopher Gathercole entered the courtyard, and moved toward the chicken coop.
With three Soldiers taking cover in the chicken coop, an enemy fighter threw another grenade at them. This time, the grenade landed just a few feet from Higgins and Robinson.
Recognizing the threat that the enemy grenade posed to his fellow Rangers, Petry -- despite his own wounds and with complete disregard for his personal safety -- consciously and deliberately risked his life to move to and secure the live enemy grenade and consciously throw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers, according to battlefield reports.
As Petry released the grenade in the direction of the enemy, preventing the serious injury or death of Higgins and Robinson, it detonated and catastrophically amputated his right hand.
With a clear mind, Petry assessed his wound and placed a tourniquet on his right arm. Once this was complete, he reported that he was still in contact with the enemy and that he had been wounded again.
After the blast that amputated Petry's hand, Roberts began to engage the enemy behind the chicken coop with small arms fire and a grenade. His actions suppressed the insurgents behind the chicken coop. Shortly after, another enemy on the east end of the courtyard began firing, fatally wounding Gathercole.
Higgins and Robinson returned fire and killed the enemy.
Moments later, Sgt. 1st Class Jerod Staidle, the platoon sergeant, and Spc. Gary Depriest, the platoon medic, arrived in the outer courtyard. After directing Depriest to treat Gathercole, Staidle moved to Petry' s position. Staidle and Higgins then assisted Petry as he moved to the casualty collection point.
Higgins later wrote in a statement, "if not for Staff Sergeant Petry's actions, we would have been seriously wounded or killed."
Petry is the ninth servicemember to have been named a recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of prior recipients, all but Petry and Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta were awarded the honor posthumously.
Included among those recipients are Spc. Ross A. McGinnis, Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, and Marine Corps Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, all for actions in Iraq. Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti and Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan.
Petry currently serves as a liaison officer for the United States Special Operations Command Care Coalition-Northwest Region, and provides oversight to wounded warriors, ill and injured servicemembers and their families.
He enlisted in the United States Army from his hometown of Santa Fe, N.M. in September 1999. After completion of One Station Unit Training, the Basic Airborne Course and the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program -- all at Fort Benning, Ga. -- Petry was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Petry has served as a grenadier, squad automatic rifleman, fire team leader, squad leader, operations sergeant, and weapons squad leader.
He has deployed eight times in support of the War on Terror with two tours to Iraq and six tours to Afghanistan.
Petry and his wife Ashley have four children, Brittany, Austin, Reagan and Landon.
UPDATE: While I think the apology was sincere, what has happened since is either gross stupidity or something much worse. Quite a few commenters on the Maxine page make a rabid wolverine seem the epitome of calm refinement and sophistication (see SKK for a few examples). To make matters worse, Hallmark began deleting honest questions and a number of pro-troop responses -- while letting some particularly vile comments against those who objected to the cartoon (and the troops) stand.
While I do not hold comments against the blog where they are posted, I also do expect the blog in question to have some standards. Even here, where we let a LOT of things stand, we have standards and will enforce them. I know no reputable site that does not have some moderation policy, and I have seen even the most open shut down threads and make posts calling out bad behavior.
By deleting the comments they did, and letting stand some particularly nasty comments against those who complained, Hallmark took a stand. This could have been a very teachable Hallmark moment. They failed, miserably, and showed myself and others exactly how well they regard the troops, the fallen, and those who raise an objection. Net result, Hallmark is out of my life. Not sure if I still have a Gold Crown Card anywhere, but if I do, it is theirs. I don't care at this point if they do make a donation to a good charity, they have lost all good will by their actions and inactions. You can do as you like, but as for me, there are other options out there, and I will take them.
If you are familiar with Hallmark Cards, then you know Maxine. In fact, you may know a Maxine or two in your life.
Yesterday, Hallmark had Maxine uttering the line "Lot's of people don't have to work today. Which is why my motto is "Live every day like it's Memorial Day!" on the Maxine Facebook page.
Needless to say, this sat poorly with quite a few people, from Gold Star Mom's to widows to more. It created quite a little firestorm, and it was getting to be a much larger firestorm -- not helped by a number of comments against the complainers (and, sadly, more than a few that came across as anti-troop). It took Hallmark a while, but they did get the message. They apologized.
For me, the card and line hit really poorly, especially since I had just finished speaking at one Memorial Day event and remembring some of the people who are the true reason for the day. Yet and still, I feel that Hallmark was sincere in their apology, and am going to let it go.
Do I wish they would do more than just the apology? Yep. Do I wish they had extended it beyond Maxine's fans? Yep, and in fact if they had been truly smart and on the bounce from a PR and Marketing standpoint, they would have. That said, they did more and better than many larger firms that have stuck it in a live 220 socket.
So, for me, apology accepted, though if they had done a bit better and more, I'd have given them some links. Since I know they are trolling milblogs this morning acessing the peasant reaction, here's an offer: make some cash donations to Team Rubicon, CwtT, WLF, and/or Soldiers' Angels, and I throw in a link to Hallmark. From my viewpoint, it's the least you can do (pssst, and the smart thing from a PR/Marketing standpoint).
POS! Yes he did go to the Tomb of the Unknowns, drop a wreath and then shake a few hands, but then he was straight off to Fort Belvoir for the 70th freaking round of his Presidency. You could fairly say his most significant accomplishment is sucking Hoover at golf more than any President in history.
The job of Commander in Chief is not fulfilled by checking a block on the one day a year we honor those all our Presidents, this loser included, have sent to war and who died. He showed supreme disrespect and a total misunderstanding of his responsibilties of a wartime leader. W gave up the game because he knew it was unseemly for the CinC to be playing around while the men and women he commands were fighting for their lives and good Americans lay in the ground after making the ultimate sacrifice. He is unworthy of the position.
There is no way to spin this so he does not lose any shred of decency he hasn't already pissed away. I anxiously await the correction from his online whinger, oh and did you happen to catch any of the mainstream media coverage of this disgrace? Hmmm neither did I.
UPDATE & BUMPED: Your help is still VERY much needed. News coverage is fading, so is blog coverage. Law Enforcement needs your help. Somewhere out there, there are people who have information that will help them find those who did this. They may not realize what they know; they may not think what they know or saw important; and, in at least one case, they do know and are hiding.
I am not going to be posting updates on the status of the investigation, as those can be counterproductive. What I will say is that the investigation continues, and that the person or persons who did this should not feel safe, for they are hunted.
The following is to a possible special reader: Amanda was a friend of a friend, a tireless supporter of our troops and our veterans. She and her children were one of us, and what you may not understand is that within this community, military and supporters, there is an ethic of looking after our own and not leaving anyone behind. The media may forget and get distracted, but if you think Law Enforcement or our community will, you are mistaken. No matter how long it takes, or how rough the road, justice will be done. If local law enforcement needs anything, from skilled volunteers to access to special equipment or labs, there are those here who will make that happen. Understand, there is very little we will not do to see you brought to justice. So, as you try to hide, keep in mind that it is not just Law Enforcement after you and that you will be hounded relentlessly to the end of your days. There is no where you can go, no place for you to sleep, no place to eat that is safe. Think about it, and save yourself a lot of grief and turn yourself in.
This morning, I am going to ask you for something, but not your money. Amanda Prewett Doss and her children were murdered, and their house set on fire to cover the crime. Her parents were burned going into the burning home to try to rescue them.
Even if she were not one of ours, a tireless troop supporter and patriot who was friend to a very good friend of mine, this plea would be going out because of the heinous nature of the crime. Law Enforcement needs your help. Her parents need your help.
Please spread the word about this. We need to help them blanket the plea (and the story) in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. We need the plea to go nationwide, but blanketing those states is crucial. A reward is offered, and that may help spur some.
So, please: post, write, send e-mails, heck, send smoke signals. But please do all you can to help spread this story throughout the South. Let's see if we can help generate the leads and information so urgently needed to bring a monster/monsters to justice.
UDPATE: Please spread the word. There is not a lot new, but the reward has been increased. The funerals were held this weekend, and burial is today. Please do what you can, and keep the family and friends of Amanda and her children in your thoughts and prayers. Also, thanks to the LE who contacted off-line with a suggestion that was passed along.
Cognitive dissonance: an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying.
OK, I know that the Old Media is completely in bed and unprotected when it comes to this CINC and this administration; not even a hint of objectivity as they continue their abdication of their role to people like us. So, first up, a member of the Old Media who evidently just climbed out of bed with someone in the White House Inner Circle, a statement such as this... doesn't come as a surprise that this is probably exactly what they perceive the military's opinion is of the OinC
But my opinion, and the opinion of just about every veteran and person currently serving that I talk to is more like this.
So, you be the judge; is what Joe Klein said correct or should he wash that fact off after he pulled it out of his backside. Might I suggest some hand sanitizer Joe?
Joe, have you been anywhere near the same zip code as anyone who has served under this President? I would have to say the range of feelings about this guy range from apathetic indifference to outright hatred. I lean quite a bit toward the latter. His spineless and feckless foreign policy and simultaneous disrespect and feigned admiration of our warriors, all while saying "I" following every statement he makes regaring anything he does related to the military makes me want to hurl. I feel alot like Prime Minister Netanyahu most days.
Joe, you and your peers don't get to bash the previous CINC for playing golf during a war (which he decided to stop because it didn't seem becoming while our soldiers were in harms way) and not be called out for not criticizing the current CINC for his constant vacations and endless rounds on the links.
And the military didn't think Bush was "doing the job" in Iraq? Really? Remember "the Surge" Joe? I think that would be called "doing the job" in what ever language or interpretive dance you want to use to describe what happened there. Remember capturing Saddam Hussein, his sons, the death of Zarqawi, free elections and smashing the insurgency in Fallujah and the denial of Iraq as a safe haven for islamic terrorism?
Maybe not, since your magazine spent all of it's resources and time (heh) reporting on Abu Ghraib and the fictional non-massacre in Haditha. I can see now why you missed the job we did in Iraq; hard to see that work being done by better men and women than you when you spend your days brown-nosing the current CINC. With your nose that far in there, you have a pretty narrow view of the world.
So, no, Joe; I don't believe this President is more popular with the military than the last one, and neither does anyone else with at least three firing neurons.
Update: BlackFive busting in on Deebow's post here...here are two reminders for Joe Klein and the other insane lefties that keep pushing that weak ass meme.
In this image released by the Texas Military Forces, brothers and veterans Preston and Will Rogers rest at the halfway point during the 5th Annual March For Fallen Heroes in Austin, Texas, May 28, 2011.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.