Obama Awards Medal of Honor

    President Barack Obama awards US Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, from Santa Fe, N.M., the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Petry is the ninth service member to have been named a recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry for his “extraordinary heroism” in Afghanistan. It was just the second time since the Vietnam War that the honor was bestowed upon a living recipient. Petry had already been shot in both legs during a fight with insurgents in May 2008 when he grabbed a grenade to eliminate the threat to two other soldiers nearby. He lost his hand. Petry could have retired from the Army with honor—but instead he chose to reenlist indefinitely and returned this year for his eighth deployment. Only nine Medals of Honor have been issued in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, seven of which were posthumous.

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