Did you know? The Patriot Post is funded 100% by its readers. Help us stay front and center in the fight for Liberty and support the 2024 Independence Day Campaign.

August 16, 2023

Profiles of Valor: SSG Leroy Petry (USA)

“I reached over, leaned over to the right, grabbed [the grenade], and I threw it as hard as I could.”

Leroy Petry is a Santa Fe, New Mexico, native of Mexican descent. He is the third of five sons born to Larry and Lorella Petry. As a teenager, he played football and basketball, excelled at auto maintenance, and his favorite hobby was cooking. After graduating high school, he worked for a year at a vehicle repair facility with his father and grandfather.

Inspired by a cousin who was an Army Ranger, Leroy enlisted in September 1999 and completed Infantry One Station Unit Training, Airborne training, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program at Fort Benning, Georgia. After getting his Ranger tab, Leroy was assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment. He served a total of eight deployments, two with Operation Iraqi Freedom and six with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

He held a succession of combat roles as a grenadier, squad automatic rifleman, fireteam leader, squad leader, operations sergeant, and weapons squad leader.

On May 26, 2008, while on a daylight mission to capture a high-value target from the Taliban in Paktia Province, Afghanistan, he and his team of seven Rangers encountered more than 40 Taliban. Immediately after exiting the helicopter at their drop point, they encountered fierce enemy fire.

Engaging three of the Taliban fighters in a courtyard, Petry and PFC Lucas Robinson were both wounded. Under heavy enemy fire, Petry led Robinson to safety with the assistance of Sgt. Daniel Higgins and two other Rangers. He then threw a thermobaric grenade at the enemy position to provide cover. The Taliban returned several grenades, the first wounding two other Rangers. When a Taliban fighter threw a second grenade, which landed feet from Higgins and Robinson, Petry retrieved it and attempted to throw the grenade back in the direction of the Taliban.

He recalls that his immediate reaction was to “get it out of here, get it away from the guys and myself.” He recounts: “I reached over, leaned over to the right, grabbed [the grenade], and I threw it as hard as I could … and as soon as I opened my hand to let it go, it just exploded instantly. And [my] hand was completely severed off.” He also suffered many shrapnel wounds, but in the process he saved his two fellow Rangers from serous injury or death.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, “Staff Sergeant Petry’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the United States Army.”

Amazingly, after recovering from his amputation and injuries, then-SFC Petry remained on active duty, reenlisting in 2010. He was medically retired four years later and in 2017 was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame at Fort Benning.

Leroy is president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society board – if you want to be a member of the society, the only qualification is that you have been awarded a Medal of Honor. In other words, it’s a rather exclusive group! He is very involved with the Society’s character education initiative, and, as part of that curriculum, recorded his advice to young people: “Look to your left and to your right.” Likewise, he is an advocate of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center’s outstanding education initiatives.

SSG Leroy Petry, your example of valor — an American Patriot defending Liberty for all at great risk to yourself — is eternal.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of American Liberty, and for Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please consider a designated gift to support the National Medal of Honor Sustaining Fund through Patriot Foundation Trust, or make a check payable to “NMoH Sustaining Fund” and mail it to:

Patriot Foundation Trust
PO Box 407
Chattanooga, TN 37401-0407

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.