Tuesday, July 12, 2011

President Obama Awards Increasingly Rare Medal of Honor

When Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry receives the Medal of Honor today from President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony, he will become only the ninth recipient of the nation's highest military decoration for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. The award of the Medal of Honor has been exceedingly rare for conflicts since the end of the Vietnam War. There were no awards of the Medal of Honor during Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, or Desert Storm. Two Medals of Honor were awarded for action in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. Of the nine recipients awarded the honor in the 21st century, seven of them received it posthumously. Besides Petry, the other recent recipient who lived to receive the award in person was Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who was honored last year by Obama, also for heroic actions in Afghanistan. 

To learn more about some of the most famous and heroic Medal of Honor recipients in our nation's history, check out ABC-CLIO's America's Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan. This book features the stories of 200 heroic individuals awarded the Medal of Honor for their distinguished military service while fighting for their country, from the Civil War to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- Pat Carlin, Manager, Editorial Development for Military History, ABC-CLIO

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