Army Ranger Receives Medal of Honor

President Obama on Tuesday awarded Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony. Petry is the second living recipient of the nation’s highest military honor since the Vietnam War, behind Army SSgt. Salvatore Giunta, who attended the event. Obama recognized Petry for his gallantry and intrepidity during a risky daylight mission to take down a top al Qaeda commander in a remote area of Afghanistan on May 26, 2008. Petry was injured in both legs by enemy fire. He continued to fight. Then, an enemy grenade landed close to him and two fellow rangers. “Every human impulse would tell someone to turn away,” said Obama. “Instead, this wounded ranger . . . did something extraordinary,” lunging forward to pick up the live grenade and throw it back. That act saved the lives of his two colleagues, but Petry lost his right hand and shrapnel riddled his body when the grenade exploded as it left his hand. Despite those serious wounds, he kept directing his team until the mission ended. (Obama remarks) (White House blog entry with award ceremony video) (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel)