On May 26, 2008, Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, an Army Ranger, came under fire while serving in Afghanistan. Wounded and still under attack, Sgt. Petry led two fellow Rangers to cover and radioed for assistance. Soon after, an enemy grenade detonated, further wounding his two colleagues. A second grenade quickly landed just a few feet away. As he threw the grenade away, it detonated. Despite losing his right hand, Sgt. Petry's actions saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Since returning from the battlefield, Sgt. Petry has been an incredible advocate for wounded soldiers and their families. His personal resilience and humility serves as a continuous inspiration to others, helping them overcome the hurdles of recovering from injuries and reintegrating into civilian life.
President Barack Obama awards U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, from Santa Fe, N.M., the Medal of Honor in this 2011 photo. A new group of houses for wounded veterans and their families will bear Petry's name. Obama said of the moment when the grenade landed near Petry and his troops, "Every human impulse would tell someone to turn away. Every soldier is trained to seek cover. That’s what Sergeant Leroy Petry could have done. Instead, this wounded Ranger, this 28-year-old man with his whole life ahead of him, this husband and father of four, did something extraordinary. He lunged forward, toward the live grenade. He picked it up. He cocked his arm to throw it back."
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry stands with his prosthetic hand over his heart, wearing his Medal of Honor during the "Pledge of Allegiance" at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, during a ceremony to honor him and other recipients of the Medal of Honor from Washington state. Petry lost his hand in 2008 when an enemy grenade he was throwing away from fellow soldiers detonated while in combat in Afghanistan.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), center, talks with Petry during a reception on Capitol Hill September 13, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Petry is the second living recipient of the award for actions since the Vietnam War.
Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry takes questions from students during a visit to Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Knoxville, Tenn., Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. The visit was in conjunction with the Medal of Honor Convention, being held this week in Knoxville.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, shouts to Army cadets during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Philadelphia.
Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, left, shakes hands with Petry during a 2011 pregame ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Petry holds a baseball as he prepares to deliver it to the mound prior to the game between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field on May 27, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.
Seattle Seahawks' linebacker Heath Farwell (55) runs with Petry, right, as part of the NFL's "Salute to Service" at the start of an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Seattle.
Golfer Jack Nicklaus, left, shakes hands with Petry Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash. Petry golfs at the course. Nicklaus was at the course to inspect the progress of the "Nicklaus Nine," nine new golf holes designed by Nicklaus as a donation to the course, which provides military veterans with both rehabilitation and recreation through golf.
Petry and musician George Strait stand onstage at George Strait's 'The Cowboy Rides Away Tour' final stop at AT&T Stadium at AT&T Stadium on June 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.