Army Specialist Leslie H. Sabo Jr. of Ellwood, Pennsylvania, was honored posthumously for “his heroic actions in combat” on May 10, 1970, while serving as a rifleman in Company D, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Se San, Cambodia.
Sabo’s widow, Rose Mary Sabo-Brown and his brother, George Sabo, joined the president for the ceremony at the White House. The medal is awarded to members of the armed forces for gallantry above and beyond the call of duty.
Sabo’s platoon was ambushed by North Vietnamese forces, according to the account of his actions released by the White House. He in turn “immediately charged the enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers.”
Sabo, in a continuing fight, picked up a grenade, threw it and shielded a wounded comrade with his own body, absorbing the brunt of the blast. Even though he was wounded, he continued his assault by crawling toward the enemy emplacement and throwing a grenade into the bunker.
“The resulting explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Specialist Sabo’s life,” the White House said in a statement.
To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org