Seafair Dunk Tank raises money for Special Olympics

Over the weekend Seattle Police Captain Dick Belshay volunteered his time to work the dunk tank at Seafair as a Special Olympics Washington fundraiser for the 2nd Annual Northwest Ride of Dreams (NWROD).  Captain Belshay has devoted a great deal of his personal time raising money for the Special Olympics Washington and promoting the NWROD. 

As an added flair two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry and retired U.S. Army Colonel Bruce Crandall were on scene as well. 

On May 26, 2008, Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry’s Ranger unit was conducting a raid in Afghanistan.  During the extremely close and violent gun battle that ensued, Sergeant First Class Petry was shot through both legs and critically injured.  In spite of this, he picked up and threw a live grenade that had landed close to two fellow soldiers, resulting in a catastrophic amputation of his right hand and multiple shrapnel wounds penetrating his body.  This selfless and deliberate act of individual heroism by Sergeant First Class Petry saved the lives of his fellow Rangers and allowed the completion of the mission.

He is the second living recipient to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.  Sergeant First Class Petry is currently serving in the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Bruce Crandall served as a U.S. Army Major and 1st Cavalry Division helicopter pilot in Vietnam.  On November 14th, 1965, during the Battle of Ia Drang Valley, Major Crandall voluntarily landed under relentless enemy fire and supervised the loading of seriously wounded soldiers aboard his aircraft.  After his first medical evacuation, Major Crandall continued to fly into and out of the landing zone 22 times under intense enemy fire, retiring from the battlefield only after all possible service had been rendered to the men fighting on the ground.

For their extraordinary heroism, conspicuous gallantry and intrepidness in the face of extreme personal danger, both Sergeant First Class Petry and Colonel Crandall received our nation’s highest award for valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Pictured above from left to right: Sergeant First Class Petry, Captain Belshay, and Colonel Crandall.

For more information on the 2nd Annual Northwest Ride of Dreams (NWROD) to be held in Ellensburg, Washington on Saturday, August 27th, 2011, please visit the website:  http://www.nwrideofdreams.org/