Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the news that President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, for action while serving with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment:

"Sergeant Petry’s actions rose above and beyond the call of duty, and exhibited the finest qualities of valor and sacrifice that distinguish a hero. Despite being wounded by enemy fire during an operation in Paktya, Afghanistan on May 26, 2008, Sgt. Petry’s first instinct was to protect the lives of his fellow Rangers, with complete disregard for his own personal safety.

“I am humbled by Sgt. Petry’s incredible courage and dedication to duty and believe his actions are certainly worthy of this honor and making him only the second living, active-duty service member to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“Each member of our Armed Forces gives a great deal of themselves, risking their lives every day to serve this country. We in the Pacific Northwest are proud of the extraordinary bravery shown by Sgt. Petry and all the men and women who serve at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We are also thankful to the military families, like Sgt. Petry’s wife, Ashley, and his four children, who support their loved ones, and whose sacrifices keep us safe.”