Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Porch
2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
PUEBLO — “This medal is not for me, it is for the Soldiers that did not come back,” reads the quote under the portrait of Staff Sgt. Leroy Petry, recent Medal of Honor recipient, and the latest servicemember to have his portrait unveiled in Pueblo.
Soldiers of Fort Carson and local residents who attended the May 9 ceremony at the Center for American Values interacted with Medal of Honor recipients, toured the facility that features more than 140 portraits of servicemembers awarded the MOH and witnessed the unveiling of the newest portrait.
Petry distinguished himself when he engaged an armed enemy in the vicinity of the Paktia Province, Afghanistan, May 26, 2008. While wounded from enemy fire,
Petry, with complete disregard for his own safety, picked up an enemy grenade that landed feet from him and his Soldiers. As he released the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist. Despite the severity of his wounds, he placed a tourniquet on his wrist and continued to communicate for support via radio.
Petry, who was not able to attend the unveiling due to back surgery, is currently stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash., and has taken on the task of helping wounded warriors and their Families.
Capt. Adam Fullerton, Rear Detachment commander, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, said he felt honored to attend the event.
“It was a pretty emotional event with three Medal of Honor recipients there,” he said. “You could just tell what it meant to those guys and what it meant to the community. I was fortunate to be a part of it.”
Drew Dix, Medal of Honor recipient, spoke of the importance of the center.
“When (children) leave here, we know that a few of them are going to take something away from this,” said Dix.
“They are going to help carry the message that we’re trying to create here.”
Capt. Matt Anderson, Fort Carson Warrior Transition Battalion, said he appreciates the support of the community.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “It depends (on) where you live, but it’s not always as prevalent as you would like it to be. It’s always awesome to have the local community on your side.”
To learn more about the 140 Medal of Honor recipients, visit the Center for American Values at 101 S. Main Street, Suite 100 in Pueblo.