Washington state honors Medal of Honor recipients

OLYMPIA — The three most recent Medal of Honor recipients from Washington were recognized Wednesday in a public ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter, and Capt. William D. Swenson all received the nation’s highest military honor for risking life in combat, beyond the call of duty, in the Afghanistan War.

After the ceremony with Gov. Jay Inslee and the commander of 7th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Terry Farrell, the three saw their names unveiled on the state Medal of Honor Monument on the Capitol campus.

Petry and Carter remain in the Army, where they often represent the service branch. Swenson is considering reenlisting, The News Tribune reported.

Petry, of Steilacoom, received the Medal of Honor in July 2011 to recognize the conspicuous gallantry he showed three years earlier with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He lost his right hand while throwing an enemy grenade away from his fellow soldiers.

Carter, of Yelm, now serves in Lewis-McChord’s 7th Infantry Division. He received the Medal of Honor last year recognizing his role in turning back an attack on Combat Outpost Keating in October 2009 in which Afghan insurgents penetrated the base’s defenses. He was serving with the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo., at the time.

Swenson, of Seattle, received a Medal of Honor last year recognizing his selfless efforts over a six-hour battle in September 2009 to protect a group of ambushed Marines and Afghan soldiers. He was serving with the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at the time.

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