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Northwest soldier given nation's highest military honor

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The White House
President Barack Obama applauds after putting the Medal of Honor around the neck of Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry in a ceremony at the White House Tuesday.

President Barack Obama hung the Medal of Honor around the neck of Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, from the Joint Base Lewis McChord, in a ceremony at the White House today.  Petry is assigned to an Army Rangers regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia.

In 2008 in Afghanistan, Petry was already shot in both legs when insurgents tossed a grenade near him and two fellow Army Rangers. Petry lost a hand while throwing that grenade away. Despite that injury, he continued to call out orders. 

Barack Obama said in his presentation of the award:

"As he lay in a stretcher being loaded in a helicopter, one of his teammates came up to shake the hand that LeRoy had left. 'That was the first time I shook the hand of someone I consider to be a true American hero,' that Ranger said. 'LeRoy Petry showed that true heroes still exist and they're closer than you think.' "

After his injuries, Petry could have retired from the military with honors but he chose to reenlist.

Here is a video of the ceremony:

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network