U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry
SANTA FE—A bronze statue of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry was unveiled at Santa Fe City Hall’s South Lawn Monday.
The statue was crafted by Pojoaque Pueblo Governor and sculptor George Rivera in honor of the only Santa Fe native to be awarded the Medal of Honor—our nation’s highest award for military valor bestowed upon an individual serving in the United States Armed Forces. The award is presented by the President of the United States in the name of Congress.
SFC Petry is the 14th New Mexican to receive the award, which was presented to him by President Barack Obama on July 12, 2011.
SFC Petry earned the award for his life-saving heroism during a gun battle with Taliban forces on May 26, 2008 in Paktia Province, Afghanistan. On this date, Petry, who was pinned down after being shot in both legs, attempted to throw away an enemy grenade, which was suddenly tossed between him and two other fellow soldiers. It exploded just as he was about to release it, resulting in the loss of his right hand.
This act of bravery by Petry, who was serving his seventh tour of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, is credited with saving the lives of his two fellow soldiers.