It was May 26, 2008, in a remote part of Paktia province, when Petry — then a staff sergeant — and other Rangers choppered toward an insurgent compound.
As soon as they landed, they came under automatic weapons fire, and Petry was hit in his legs. He fell, but as grenades came flying toward him and his comrades, he picked one up and tried to hurl it back before it exploded.
Petry’s right hand was blown off but two of his fellow soldiers were saved.
And still Petry kept going, issuing orders to help his unit fight.