"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktiya Province, Afghanistan, on 26 May 2008."
In May of 2008, 2d Platoon, D Company, 2d Ranger Battalion, an element of a Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan, routinely executed night time raids to kill/capture insurgent leadership in Eastern Afghanistan. On May 26, 2008, the task force identified the location of a key Al Qaeda operative in Paktiya Province, Afghanistan. Due to the importance and time sensitive nature of this target, the assault force planned a rare day light raid to capture this fleeting target of opportunity. Cognizant of the increased risk of the day light operation, the assault force planned to land in two helicopters just outside of small arms range from the target compound to ensure containment of the objective and minimize exposure of the assault force during movement to the compound. Immediately upon landing, the assault force came under intense enemy fire from multiple locations. Following the initial contact, SSG Petry maneuvered his squad to close with and destroy the enemy.
This print is a historically accurate depiction of the actions of SSG Leroy Petry, SSG James Roberts, SPC Christopher "Gator" Gathercole, SGT Daniel Higgins and PFC Lucas Robinson minutes after a daylight infiltration to capture a high value Al Qaeda operative. The five Rangers were engaged in close combat with the enemy and SSG Petry sustained gunshot wounds to both legs and PFC Robinson received a gunshot to his side armor plate. Moments before, SGT Higgins had moved to their location and an enemy grenade detonated and wounded all three with fragmentation. SSG Roberts and SPC Gathercole moved to engage the two enemy barricaded on the opposite side of the structure that SSG Petry, SGT Higgins and PFC Robinson were using for cover. One of the enemy combatants threw a second fragmentary grenade that landed between SSG Petry and SGT Higgins. SSG Petry, acknowledging the immediate threat to his men and himself, picked up the grenade to throw it back at the enemy and away from his men. The grenade detonated and severed SSG Petry's right hand. SSG Roberts and SPC Gathercole continued to engage the enemy and SPC Gathercole was mortally wounded by enemy fire. As the sun began to retreat behind the mountain peaks and the helicopters evacuated the wounded, SPC Christopher Gathercole made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
On July 12, 2011, President Barack Obama awarded SFC Leroy A. Petry the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award for bravery. As a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, SFC Petry became the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War and the ninth recipient for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This print commemorates the actions of SFC Leroy Petry and his fellow Rangers who performed gallantly in the face of overwhelming adversity. It is a celebration of the trials and tribulations of courageous men who have spent 10 continuous years at war. SFC Petry and the Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment represent generations of volunteers who live by a creed, set the highest of standards, and represent all that is great in America. Their heroic actions and sacrifice earn them a place in a gloried history that includes Rangers named Rogers, Mosby and Merrill - warriors who marched to the sound of guns fully knowing the hazards of their chosen profession.
RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!
Artist Proof Edition - Signed by Medal of Honor awardee SSG Leroy Petry