- Associated Press
Saturday, July 16, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Mets saluted Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, who was recently awarded a Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama.

Petry received the nation’s highest military honor Tuesday in a ceremony at the White House for his brave actions in Afghanistan to protect comrades in the 2008 firefight that cost him his right hand. He was at Citi Field with his family Saturday to see New York play the Philadelphia Phillies, invited by the Mets.

Dressed in full uniform, Petry had a chance to meet Mets players in the clubhouse after batting practice. He said he was excited to attend the game with his family, and he thought it was his son’s first trip to a professional ballgame.

Sitting in the front row right next to the Phillies’ on-deck circle, Petry was introduced to the crowd after the third inning and received a standing ovation as he waved his left hand.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, currently on the disabled list, walked over and presented Petry with a boxed American flag that had flown over Citi Field. Reyes also shook hands with Petry and his family.

“The Congressional Medal of Honor is the best medal you can get,” said Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese, who applauded on the mound before throwing his fourth-inning warmups. “They go out there and do a heck of a lot more than we can imagine.”

A native of Santa Fe, N.M., Petry now serves with the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga.

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