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Vietnam War Hero to Receive Posthumous Medal of Honor

Compliments of: Army News Service

WASHINGTON, DC – Army Spc. 4 Leslie H. Sabo Jr., a rifleman with the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War, will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor in a May 16 ceremony, White House officials announced yesterday.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Spc. 4 Leslie H. Sabo Jr., who served with Company B, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. Sabo will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously in a May 16, 2012, White House ceremony for his valor in the Vietnam War. Photo courtesy of George Sabo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Sabo is credited with saving the lives of several of his comrades in Company B, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry, when his platoon was ambushed near the Se San River in eastern Cambodia on May 10, 1970. Sabo shielded a comrade from an enemy grenade and silenced a machine-gun bunker before he was killed.

Sabo’s widow, Rose Mary Sabo-Brown, and his brother, George Sabo, have been invited to the White House for the ceremony. President Barack Obama recently telephoned Sabo-Brown to inform her that her late husband would receive the nation’s highest award for valor.

“It was a very emotional day — a very, very emotional day,” she said. I couldn’t even sleep that night. And … when I did fall asleep finally and I woke up the next morning, I went, ‘Now wait a minute, did I dream this? Is it really real?’ I couldn’t be more proud of him.

In her home near New Castle, Pa., Sabo-Brown has set up a museum of sorts in tribute to her late husband and his comrades who were killed in Cambodia.

When his platoon was ambushed from all sides by a large enemy force, Sabo charged the enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers. He then assaulted an enemy flanking force, successfully drawing their fire away from friendly soldiers and ultimately forcing the enemy to retreat. While the platoon was securing a re-supply of ammunition, an enemy grenade landed nearby. Sabo picked it up, threw it, and shielded a wounded comrade with his own body — absorbing the brunt of the blast and saving his comrade’s life.

Although wounded by the grenade blast, Sabo continued to charge the enemy’s bunker. After receiving several serious wounds from automatic weapons fire, he crawled toward the enemy emplacement and, when in position, threw a grenade into the bunker. The resulting explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Sabo’s life.

Sabo’s unit nominated him for the Medal of Honor, but the paperwork was lost until Tony Mabb, a Vietnam veteran of the 101st Airborne Division and a writer for the Screaming Eagle Association magazine, came across a thick file on Sabo while on a research trip to the National Archives military repository in College Park, Md.

Mabb contacted his congresswoman, who recommended that the Defense Department reconsider a medal of valor for Sabo. Mabb also made contact with Sabo’s widow.

“The Leslie I know would give his life to anybody,” she said. “He would. He would give you the shirt off his back. That’s the kind of man he was.”

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About Posted by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer. In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials. Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat. Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republicanand The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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