MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Medal of Honor recipient met with teachers in Minneapolis on Monday to develop an elementary school program.
The president awarded Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry the highest military honor five years ago. Petry and the educators drafted lesson plans for the new Medal of Honor Elementary Character Development Program, in advance of the convention being held in Minnesota this fall.
Petry spoke about his act of valor.
“This is the stuff of which heroes are made,” President Barack Obama said in 2011.
Obama awarded Petry the Medal of Honor in 2011.
“Sometimes you can almost place yourself back there,” Petry said.
During his fifth deployment to Afghanistan in May of 2008, the Army Ranger was on a daylight raid, going after a high value target. Rangers usually operate under the cover of darkness.
“I said I needed to go back and clear the courtyard. We started to move, I got shot through both my thighs, Robinson got shot just below his armpit,” Petry said.
Petry led Rangers to safety, and then engaged the enemy with a grenade, before seeing one they threw back.
“I immediately saw it as a threat to them. I reached over and I grabbed it and as I picked it up and attempted to throw it away, as soon as I opened my hand, it exploded completely severing the hand,” Petry said.
He risked his life, beyond the call of duty, during the firefight.
“I feel like I got two miracles that day, of not only being able to save the guys next to me, but to be here as well,” Petry said.
He shares the Medal of Honor values: courage, sacrifice, patriotism, citizenship, integrity and commitment, wherever he goes.
“A lot of recipients say it’s a heavy medal to wear around one’s neck, that it’s easier to earn than it is to wear. But for me it gets lighter the more people I share it with,” Petry said.
Petry re-enlisted after his injury. And he continues to help wounded service members and their families.
There are fewer than 3,500 total Medal of Honor recipients. Seventy-six are living.
The Medal of Honor Convention will be held Minneapolis for the first time, Oct. 4 through 8.
There will be opportunities to meet the heroes who have received our nation’s highest military honor. Click here to learn more.