POTD: Medal of Honor

    US Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr.

    Today’s Photo shows Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr., who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War while serving with the 101st Airborne Division.

    His recommendation for the Medal of Honor was lost for 29 years before resurfacing in 1999.

    Sabo’s widow, Rose Mary, accepted the award on his behalf during a 2012 ceremony at the White House.

    Top photo by Katie Lange.

    Below: Army Spc. Leslie Sabo Jr. (Army photo)


    Below: Army Spc. Leslie Sabo Jr. (far right) poses with his fellow soldiers in Vietnam on Christmas Day 1969. (Courtesy photo)

    The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration. From Military.com

    The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation’s bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the award was created in 1861.

    The award is often bestowed posthumously to fallen heroes in recognition for their extraordinary acts of valor.


    Medal of Honor Citation: Specialist Four Leslie H. Sabo, Jr.: (Source)

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Specialist Four Leslie H. Sabo Jr. distinguished himself by conspicuous acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his own life while serving as a rifleman in Company B, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Se San, Cambodia, on May 10, 1970.

    On that day, Specialist Four Sabo and his platoon were conducting a reconnaissance patrol when they were ambushed from all sides by a large enemy force.

    Without hesitation, Specialist Four Sabo charged an enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers. Immediately thereafter, he assaulted an enemy flanking force, successfully drawing their fire away from friendly soldiers and ultimately forcing the enemy to retreat. In order to re-supply ammunition, he sprinted across an open field to a wounded comrade. As he began to reload, an enemy grenade landed nearby.

    Specialist Four Sabo picked it up, threw it, and shielded his comrade with his own body, thus absorbing the brunt of the blast and saving his comrade’s life. Seriously wounded by the blast, Specialist Four Sabo nonetheless retained the initiative and then single-handedly charged an enemy bunker that had inflicted severe damage on the platoon, receiving several serious wounds from automatic weapons fire in the process.

    Now mortally injured, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and, when in position, threw a grenade into the bunker. The resulting explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Specialist Four Sabo’s life. His indomitable courage and complete disregard for his own safety saved the lives of many of his platoon members.

    Specialist Four Sabo’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness, above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company B, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, and the United States Army

    To read more about Leslie H. Sabo Jr. please check here (Wikipedia).

    According to the source, Sabo was the 249th person to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the Vietnam War and the 3,458th awardee in the history of the medal.