Medal of Honor Recipient Leroy Petry Speaks to Soldiers at Alaskan Military Bases
Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry visited soldiers at Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright located near Fairbanks, Alaska this past July. Petry, who is the official ambassador and quality control advocate for the Extra Mile Military Care program at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, spoke to Airmen and civilian employees during his visit. Petry is currently advocating for mental health services that are available for active military personnel and veterans.
During his visit, The Daily Miner, Fairbanks local newspaper chronicled the retired Master Sergeant’s events.
The front-page article detailed the events that earned Petry his Medal of Honor. The following is an excerpt from that article:
“Master Sgt. Leroy Petry is a retired Army Ranger who received the military’s highest honor for grabbing a grenade thrown near him and saving the life of fellow soldiers during a 2008 attack on a Taliban compound in Afghanistan’s Paktia province”.
Petry spoke about how important it is for soldiers and airmen to take care of their mental health, and to be aware of mental health services available to them.
Programs such as the Extra Mile Military Care help active military personnel and veterans get the help needed.
The goal of the Extra Mile Military Care program is to see veteran patients succeed in personal and professional endeavors while overcoming depression, anxiety attacks, substance abuse or PTSD.
At Eielson Air Force Base, Petry met with the base commander and with Air Force clinicians, discussing treatments and options for soldiers who need to seek mental health services.
Petry also met with members of the Army’s elite MEDEVAC unit at Fort Wainwright and several Gold Star Families afterward at the USO. Gold Star Families are those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.
Petry’s service dog Tommy accompanied him throughout the entire visit. Also visiting Fairbanks is Mr. Randy Kiniecki of US HealthVest, Dr. Stacey Shaw, program director for EMMC, and, Mr. Greg Walker, senior military liaison for EMMC.
Petry concluded his visit by leaving a memorial bouquet of red, white and blue flowers at the Fairbanks Veterans Memorial Park. Retired Army Ranger and resident Andy Poncho assisted Petry.
Petry is also invited to speak at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State and on O’ahu in Hawaii on behalf of Extra Mile Military Care.