Friday, June 03, 2011

Fullbore Friday

Some times, a FbF writes itself - with some help from Hal Burnton at TST,
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will receive the nation's highest military decoration from President Obama in a ceremony July 12, according to a White House statement.
Petry will be the second living, active-duty service member to receive a Medal of Honor for actions in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. Obama last year awarded a Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, also for actions in Afghanistan. Seven other service members who fought in those wars have been awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

At the time he lost his hand, Petry was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Army Regiment, a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Ranger unit, according to the Army News Service.

His unit was in mountainous Paktia province and was involved in an unusual daylight raid against what the Army described as a "high-value target."

Petry's injury occurred as he and a fellow member of an assault squad, Pfc. Lucas Robinson, were helping to clear a compound and encountered three enemy fighters at the end of a courtyard.

The two men took heavy fire as they crossed the courtyard. Both were wounded and sought cover in a chicken coop. A third soldier, Sgt. Daniel Higgins, had joined them in the chicken coop when the enemy attacked with two grenades.

A first grenade exploded some 10 yards away, knocking all three men to the ground and injuring Robinson and Higgins. The second grenade landed a short distance from them. Petry, "with complete disregard for his personal safety," picked up the live grenade and released it in the direction of the enemy, according to the Army News Service.

His action prevented serious injury or death to the two other Rangers. Yet, the grenade detonated as Petry sought to toss it, blowing off his hand.

Petry tied a tourniquet around his arm to stanch the bleeding as the other soldiers continued to fight.

"If not for Staff Sgt. Petry's actions, we would have been seriously wounded or killed," Higgins later wrote in a statement that was included in the Army News Service report.

Petry enlisted in the Army in September 1999. He has served a combined 28 months of front-line duty during numerous combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq.

He currently serves at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where he is attached to Special Operations Command, and tracks and monitors injured Rangers returning from combat zones.
Hat tip KS.


ewok40k said...

Those Rangers do things normally reserved to Marines - anonymous Army grunt :P
interservice jokes aside, truly Fullbore!
And once in a while even Obama can do a good thing. Can we have more moments like that?
God knows how many heroes like that one remain unknown.

dc said...

Tough. Army Tough.

Glad these guys are on our team.

John said...

I never got that whole "Army Strong!" thing, but if this is what it is all about then I am awed by it!

Well done, Soldier, I salute you!  Let me know when you are thirsty!

Aubrey said...

BZ to Sgt Petry - these are the men that the "Jennifers" of the world (from the Anti-Memorial Day thread) will never understand or appreciate.

Also, on one of our favorite topics:

Steel City said...

Ewok made an excellent point below, "...God knows how many heroes like that one remain unknown."  Why the increased threshold for MoH awards for Iraq/AFGH operations?  To me it sounds and feels like a self-imposed buffer on positive publicity for heroes like SGT Perry.  Sort of like a civilian attitude of, we like the military when it comes to parades, movies, PR stuff, etc. but when it comes to real soldiering like killing bad guys then it becomes more hands-off...don't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole.  And DoD leadership plays right into that mindset by placing these limitations on awards for our own soldiers as if there was a budget or quota involved? 

MR T's Haircut said...

We should rejoice that we find such men! 

Gary said...

When a grenade lands next to you in a firefight, your first instinct would be to get away from that grenade.
This Soldier did the exact opposite, and reached for it.

A true Hero in every sense.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

I believe it to be just slightly different, SC.  They know deep down there is sometimes killing to be done, and are more than happy to have this group of semi-educated, brutish people go do it for them.  It serves two purposes; it allows them to not have to deign to do something so distasteful themselves, and it reinforces their views that these expendable automatons are somehow morally and intellectually inferior to themselves and their ilk.

"While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir!" when there's trouble in the wind..."


Anonymous said...

Well deserved.  Googled this (unsure of the accuracy, but a good place to start when looking at who has been awarded the higher level awards for bravery):

I am sure there are many "V"s on Joint or Service Specific Commendation Medals out there now.

Old Farter said...

<span>was involved in an unusual daylight raid against what the Army described as a "high-value target."</span>

Truly Full Bore and Well Deserved. Those unusual missions tend to get a lot of people hurt. We own the night. Hope the mission was a success and his injuries and the unit's casualties were worth the risk.

Redeye80 said...

Fullbore indeed.  BZ Staff Sgt. Petry!