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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