11 July 2011

Prosthetic Hand Helps Medal of Honor Recipient Stay with Rangers

"It's a great hand."

- Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, talking about the prosthetic which has replaced the hand blown off while throwing a grenade away from himself and two other Rangers.

WASHINGTON, DC – "There was a little bit of a meat skirt, for lack of better words, hanging around the edges. It was oozing. I could see the radius and ulna bone sticking up maybe about half an inch."

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, who will have the Medal of Honor placed around his neck July 12, 2011, by the president of the United States, recounted the moment after his hand was taken from him by a grenade during a May 26, 2008, combat operation in Afghanistan.

"It was vivid -- where I could see the black marks from where the burns were. And a little bit of the dirt and the smell of explosives. I sat up and I grabbed it. And it's a little strange," Petry said. "But this is what was in my mind: 'Why isn't this thing spraying off into the wind like in Hollywood?'"

After that, the seasoned Army Ranger -- who was at the time on his seventh deployment in support of combat operations both in Iraq and Afghanistan -- had to take charge of his own situation, and of the young Soldiers whom he led.

Read about SFC Petry's injury and recovery, and the actions which led to him becoming the ninth servicemember to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.

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