Leslie Sabo: A True American Hero

President Obama today awarded the Medal Of Honor to a soldier for actions during the Vietnam War.

The citation reads in part

“Even though 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 securing a re-supply of ammunition, an enemy grenade landed nearby. Specialist 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 Specialist Sabo’s life.”

Charging a superior force once would be impressive. Doing so twice even more so. Following that up with braving a field of fire to resupply, taking a grenade for a fellow soldier and then charging AGAIN and taking out an enemy bunker is beyond amazing.

Sabo and his family came to the United States from Austria after World War 2. When he received his draft notice he could have gotten an exemption both because he was married and because he was in college. But he refused to even consider it, saying that he owed his country a debt for all he and his family had been given.

If you want to see what a hero looks like, look no further.

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Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

  • rudi

    A true hero and a decent human who lost his life in a stupid war…

  • slamfu

    Some of the stuff those medal winners did just doesn’t seem possible. Amazing bravery.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Thanks for posting, Patrick.

    Just happen to be reading “To Conquer Hell,” the story of the 1918 Meuse-Argonne battle (the bloodiest battle in American history)where young men like John Lewis Barkley and Alvin C. York also earned their Medals of Honor in similar bravery.

    As Slamfu says, some of the stuff those Medal of Honor recipients did “just doesn’t seem possible.”

  • The_Ohioan

    Thanks, Patrick. We need to be reminded of what real heroism is, every so often.