Medal of Honor Recipient to Speak on Leadership at UNCW

Monday, November 02, 2015

Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry, a recipient of the Medal of Honor who now works with wounded warriors and their families, will speak on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus Nov. 9. Petry was awarded the Medal of Honor for risking his own life to save his fellow Rangers from being wounded or killed during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008.

His visit is part of the Leadership Lecture Series, sponsored by UNCW Campus Life.

Petry was a staff sergeant serving as weapons squad leader with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, when his unit came under attack in Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. Wounded in both legs, he led a fellow Ranger to safety. When a grenade thrown by enemy fighters landed nearby, he “unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety” picked it up and threw it away from fellow Rangers, according to the official citation. The grenade detonated and amputated his right hand at the wrist and caused multiple shrapnel injuries.

Now assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, with special duties as a liaison officer for the Special Operations Command Care Coalition, Northwest Region, he provides assistance to wounded warriors, ill and injured service members and their families. In addition to the Medal of Honor, numerous other commendations include two Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart.

Petry will speak at 7 p.m. in the Burney Center. The event is free to students, faculty and staff, and $10 for the general public. Tickets may be purchased at Sharky’s Box Office, on the first floor of the Fisher Student Center. Tickets are also available at

The Leadership Lecture Series provides an exploration of leadership through stories and experiences shared by guest speakers. Petry’s talk is the second of four events scheduled for the 2015-16 academic year.

­­-- Tricia Vance