My moment with a hero
Washington (CNN)–On my way out to the northwest gate of the White House, on my way to lunch, I ran into Medal of Honor recipient, Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry.
We had just shot the Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
We heard the story of his incredible bravery, how after being shot in both legs he continued to engage the enemy, throwing grenades and firing his weapon.
Then when an enemy grenade dropped within close proximity of he and his colleagues, Petry, with both legs wounded, went towards the grenade, threw it away from his colleagues and lost his right hand as the grenade detonated in the air after leaving his fingers.
“Amazing,” I said, "it’s an honor to meet a MOH recipient" as I was shaking his left hand.
Then he said "here, shake this one instead." With that he extended his right prosthetic hand and wrapped his robotic fingers around my hand.
I said, "How do you do that?" He replied, "with my nerves and muscles" "wow, amazing" I said. I could only imagine the nerves and muscles it took for him to do what he did at that moment in battle.
Then the hero was escorted away.
July 12th, 2011
05:36 PM ET
Honoring a hero
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama awarded the nation's highest medal for bravery Tuesday to a soldier who lost his hand when an enemy grenade went off just as he was throwing it clear of his fellow soldiers in what the President called "a singular act of gallantry."
Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry was serving in Paktya, Afghanistan in May 2008 when his Ranger unit was assigned to capture a high value target in a helicopter raid.
"The mission is high risk. It's broad daylight," Obama said. "The insurgents are heavily armed, but it's considered a risk worth taking because intelligence indicates that a top al Qaeda commander is in that compound." FULL POST
July 12th, 2011
01:39 PM ET
Trying to break a stalemate
Washington (CNN) - The two sides seem as far apart as ever as they try to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling. All of the negotiators agree they don't want to see the U.S. default, but how they get to any agreement is unclear.
After the second meeting in as many days among the principal negotiators, congressional leaders were tasked with talking to their members, crunching some numbers and coming back with new ideas about how to bridge their differences and reach at least $600 billion more in budget savings - the approximate amount in deficit reduction needed to get a hike in the debt ceiling approved in Congress, multiple officials familiar with the ongoing talks tell CNN. Republicans have said they would only consider a debt hike if a bigger amount in budget savings was attached.
Since the idea of a grand deal was abandoned over the weekend, the leaders have gone back to the outlines of negotiations chaired by Vice President Biden, which lasted just under two months, as they try to craft a deal before August 2nd. But those Biden-led talks ended up breaking down at the end of June over the same issues that killed the later sessions involving the President and Speaker John Boehner in trying to craft a major deficit reduction package - how much to cut in entitlements and the White House insistence some revenue increases be part of any package.
So when the congressional leaders come back to the White House Tuesday afternoon will they bring with them fresh proposals - or will the same old ones and their philosophical differences simply be re-hashed?
Did you know.....?
Did you know that only 3465 Medals of Honor have ever been award. Including 1522 medals for the Civil War, 464 for World War II, 4 for Operation Iraqi Freedom and 4 for Operation Enduring Freedom.
July 12th, 2011
07:36 AM ET
POTUS schedule Tuesday July12, 2011
The debt ceiling talks continue this afternoon at the White House. The whole congressional leadership is expected to arrive at 3:45pm.
Prior to that President Obama will award the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry to Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army. Petry will be the second living active service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions in Paktya, Afghanistan, may 26, 2007
full schedule after the jump