America’s Medal of Honor is usually given posthumously, but Sgt. First Class Leroy A. Petry, who survived his combat experience, received his award in a 2011 White House ceremony. He became the second living medal recipient from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
During combat in Afghanistan, Petry, an Army Ranger, was shot in both legs. Then a grenade exploded nearby, wounding several of his fellow soldiers. When a second enemy grenade landed close to them, Petry threw it away as it detonated. The explosion filled him with shrapnel and ripped off his right hand.
In honoring Sgt. Petry, President Obama referred to 9/11 and paid tribute to “a generation that has borne the burden of our security during a hard decade of sacrifice.”
Much is indeed sacrificed during war, most directly by combatants and their families. Societies sacrifice as well. There is always good reason to seek and spread peace throughout our world, while we also honor the selflessness and heroism of those who fight.
Be courageous and valiant. (2 Samuel 13:28)
Bring peace into our world as well as our hearts, Messiah.