Three of the six living military service members who received Medals of Honor for heroism in Afghanistan will be recognized today (April 2) at a ceremony in the state Capitol.
All three men live in the Evergreen State and will see their names etched into the state's Medal of Honor monument.
- Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry of Steilacoom. He received a Medal of Honor in July 2011 recognizing the conspicuous gallantry he showed three years earlier in a shootout with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He lost his right hand while throwing an enemy grenade away from his fellow soldiers.
- Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter of Yelm. Carter now serves in Lewis-McChord’s 7th Infantry Division. He received a Medal of Honor last year recognizing his role in turning back an attack on Combat Outpost Keating in October 2009 in which Afghan insurgents penetrated the base’s defenses. He was serving with the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo. at the time.
- And, Capt. William D. Swenson of Seattle. Swenson received a Medal of Honor last year recognizing his selfless efforts over a six-hour battle in September 2009 to protect a group of ambushed Marines and Afghan soldiers. He was serving with the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at the time.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. in the capitol rotunda with remarks from Gov. Jay Inslee and 7th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Terry Farrell.
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military award. Three other military service members received the award posthumously for their heroism in Afghanistan.
Carter and Petry remain in the Army, where they often represent the service branch. Swenson reportedly is considering reenlisting.