Honoring a hero
President Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry at a White House ceremony Tuesday.
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

Topics: Afghanistan • President Obama • The News
Who is Martin Dempsey?
May 30th, 2011
11:02 AM ET

Who is Martin Dempsey?

The man President Obama nominated Monday to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has years of experience fighting two different wars in Iraq, but little experience in Afghanistan.

Gen. Martin Dempsey became the new Army Chief of Staff just last month, but he's is already in line for the only higher-ranking job available to someone in uniform: the President's top military advisor. It's the culmination of a career in the U.S. Army that began when he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in the waning years of the Vietnam War.

Dempsey was born in Bayonne, New Jersey but attended high school in Goshen, New York in the shadows of West Point. He graduated in 1974 as an armor officer, and was soon assigned to a tank unit in Germany than in helicopter reconnaissance unit at Fort Carson, Colorado. FULL POST

Topics: President Obama • The News
November 16th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

The battle that created America's newest hero

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COMBAT OUTPOST DURANI, Afghanistan (CNN) — Their memories of the firefight are still searing, three years after it took place.

"The while time frame lasted, I don't know, maybe two minutes, three minutes. Five or six lifetimes," U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta told CNN. "You can turn and see the muzzle flashes and the bullets coming out of the guns and it's not just one of them, not just 10 of them, it's more than that."


November 16th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Living Medal of Honor winners gained fame

Editor's note: President Obama will present Sal Giunta with the Medal of Honor award on Tuesday. Watch live on CNN TV and online. More on the Medal of Honor

Washington (CNN) - When President Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta on Tuesday, a lot will be made about the fact that he is the first living Medal of Honor recipient since Vietnam. To be exact, Giunta is the first living recipient since President Ford presented Medals of Honor to three heroes of Vietnam on March 4, 1976.

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