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Medal of Honor Recipient Visits Troops at Alaskan Military Bases

Medal of Honor recipient Master Sgt. Leroy Petry visited soldiers at Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. Petry is the official ambassador and quality control advocate for the Extra Mile Military Care program at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, located in Marysville, WA. Petry is currently advocating for mental health services that are available for active military personnel and veterans.

The goal of the Extra Mile Military Care program is to help veteran patients succeed in personal and professional endeavors while overcoming depression, anxiety attacks, substance abuse or PTSD.

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”.

At Eielson Air Force Base, Petry spoke to over 250 Airmen and civilian employees about the importance of the mental health services that are available for soldiers. He met with the base commander and Air Force clinicians afterward to discuss the resources available to active military and veterans in need of behavioral health services. Petry’s interview at Eielson detailing how he received the Medal of Honor has since gone viral.

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 was Mr. Randy Kiniecki of US HealthVest, Dr. Stacey Shaw, program director for EMMC, and, Mr. Greg Walker, senior military liaison for EMMC.

MSG Petry (L) and retired Ranger Andy Poncho (R)

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.