Teammates Recount Medal Of Honor Nominee's Courageous Actions
By Brian Gebhart - June 16, 2011
|WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 10, 2011) -- Three
teammates of Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry recently discussed
the event that took place May 26, 2008, which landed the
noncommissioned officer a nomination to receive the Medal of
The White House announced May 31, 2011, that Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry, now serving as part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., will receive the Medal of Honor.
Photo by U.S. Army
On the day of the event, Petry's squad was entering their
target building to secure clearance when an exchange of
gunfire with the enemy began.
Petry was alongside
Sgt. Lucas Robinson at the time they were attacked. Both
Rangers received wounds from gunfire and found cover behind
a chicken coop.
Sgt. Daniel Higgins, a team leader,
then arrived at the chicken coop to assess the wounds of
Petry and Robinson. While he evaluated their wounds, a
grenade thrown by the enemy landed near the Soldiers and
wounded both Robinson and Higgins.
Shortly after the
grenade exploded, Staff Sgt. James Roberts and Spc.
Christopher Gathercole entered the courtyard, and moved
toward the chicken coop.
Another grenade then landed
within a few feet from Robinson and Higgins. Seeing the
danger his fellow Rangers were in, Petry risked his life to
secure the live grenade and throw it toward the enemy.
The grenade detonated as Petry threw it, causing
amputation of his right hand, but saving the lives of
Robinson and Higgins.
Roberts and Gathercole then
engaged the enemy. Soon after, Gathercole was fatally
"Initially there really wasn't a whole lot
of report on what was going on with enemy contact," said 1st
Sgt. Steven Walter -- one of Petry's teammates. "After the
initial exchange of gunfire, I did get a call from Sergeant
Petry requesting my assistance inside."
teammate, Sgt. 1st Class Jerod Staidle, also received a call
from Petry and went to his aid.
"As I entered into
the west side of that compound, that's when I saw Sergeant
Roberts dragging Specialist Gathercole in," said Staidle. "I
went up to him asking what the situation was. He told me
that we had four Rangers wounded. I asked where Sergeant
Petry was, he pointed in the direction."
arrived at Petry's position, he found him sitting propped up
against the chicken coop wall, holding his right arm up with
a tourniquet Petry had applied himself. Staidle asked him if
he was able to walk. Petry replied saying that he was unsure
and that he had been shot in both legs.
With the help
of Higgins, who was also wounded, Staidle was able to move
Petry to the casualty collection point, where his wounds
were treated by medics.
Once treated, a helicopter
landing zone was established, and the casualties were
evacuated from the area.
"We started checking on and
putting pieces and parts of the story together," said Master
Sgt. Reese Teakell. "That's when Sergeant Higgins made
reference to Sergeant Petry saving our lives and the things
that he did."
The three teammates all agreed that
Petry is very humbled and honored in receiving the Medal of
"I remember thinking to myself that I
wasn't surprised that he had just done what he had done,
just based off of his character and what I had learned about
him over the past few months," Staidle said.
thing he did state to me after the fact was that if he had
time to think about it, he wouldn't have used his right
hand," recalled Walters.
Walters also expressed that
Petry plans to continue his Army career.
Barack Obama will present Petry with the Medal of Honor July
By Brian Gebhart
Army News Service
President Obama's Presentation of MoH to Leroy A. Petry
Leroy A. Petry's Medal of Honor Citation
Prosthesis Helps Medal of Honor Hero
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