"We would like to say that every Ranger would do that given the exact same situation, but you're never going to know that until he's placed in that situation," Master Sgt. Steven Walter said.
Sergeant 1st Class Jerod Staidle, who came to help Petry that day, said Petry could have "saved himself but then the other two Rangers would probably be dead." Staidle said, "He put his own life at risk to grab that grenade and throw it around the corner to save all three of them."
Petry now wears a high-tech robotic artificial hand. "I could shake people's hands today. I'm meeting people all the time," he told the Army News Service. "It feels great to actually shake their hands with my right hand."
The prosthesis even allowed him to take up a new sport, golf.
An elite Army special operations force, Army Rangers serve four-month tours of duty in the war zones and rotate more frequently than conventional forces given the intense combat operations they experience.
Since enlisting in the Army in 1999, Petry has served almost his entire Army career as a Ranger and has deployed twice to Iraq and six times to Afghanistan. That sixth deployment occurred this past year.
He continues to serve on active duty as a liaison officer with wounded warriors and plans to remain a soldier. The married father of four recently re-enlisted for another eight years of Army service.