Updated: Monday, 01 Aug 2011, 7:39 PM MDT
Published : Monday, 01 Aug 2011, 7:39 PM MDT
SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - Santa Fe celebrated Medal of Honor recipient SFC Leroy Petry in style.
Thousands of residents and visitors packed the streets of Santa Fe just before noon Monday carrying flags and signs to welcome New Mexico's hero home. The Army Ranger grew up in the state capital and said he was taken back by the turnout. "There is so much I love about this place, " Petry said. "I love coming back, and wish I could stay here with all of you."
SFC Petry was awarded the Medal Of Honor last month for saving several of his comrades from a live grenade attack. The humble hero thanked everyone for coming and asked for their continued support. "We lost a lot of men and women out there," Petry said. "If you could keep them in your prayers, that's important to me."
The ranger's family said they knew Leroy Petry was destined for greatness but never dreamed of this. "I found a letter that Leroy wrote to my husband and I gave it to Leroy," his grandmother Bertha Alberico-Petry explained. "At the end it says love Leroy and he put a little square and said 'Grandpa save this'. It could be worth some money some day." It turns out he could be right. His Grandmother said they've been a bit overwhelmed by all the attention, but that everyone is extremely proud.
SFC Petry is still on active duty and will be leaving the state in a couple of days for Washington state where he is stationed.