Local Hero Comes Home


We all need good stories.  This is one of those.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry was honored with a parade through Santa Fe on Monday.

“…The city of Santa Fe celebrated the homecoming of its first Medal of Honor recipient with a parade down Bishops Lodge Road and around the Plaza, and a reception at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

Mayor David Coss, Gov. Susana Martinez and dignitaries from the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services and the New Mexico National Guard all spoke in the packed courtyard. Drew Dennis Dix, a Medal of Honor recipient who served in the Vietnam War, spoke about the pride felt not only by Petry but by his community, which demonstrated its pride with an outpouring of support at the parade.

He talked about Petry’s month of July, during which he received the distinguished award from President Barack Obama. Dix said the only thing better “is coming home to this appreciation.”

Santa Fe New Mexican

Lining the streets of The Plaza were kids, families and veterans whistling and cheering for their hero. The Santa Fe Boys and Girls Clubs brought 200 kids to the event, the Pojoaque club 52.

“To be part of this as a community in welcoming him home, I think they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives,” Gwen Arona, assistant director of the Pojoaque Boys and Girls Club, said.

Her 52 kids face-painted stars and flags on their cheeks and waved flags at the celebration, one of their last field trips this summer.

At the reception, Petry spoke about his love for his home state and his desire to be here. But he also talked about his desire to serve his fellow Rangers still in harm’s way. Petry has re-enlisted indefinitely and serves as a liaison for wounded servicemen and servicewomen and their families. In his short speech following the parade, he emphasized the need to never forget those people who still are overseas and those who have fallen.

He then saluted the flag and walked off the stage with his family. In attendance was his father, Larry, who wore the same “our hero” shirts as Griego and his family. Larry rode in the parade in Griego’s 1928 tan Ford Model A car, which had a banner on the side that read, “Proud Father, Rangers lead the way.” …”