More than 40 years after U.S. Army Specialist Leslie H. Sabo Jr. was first recommended for the nation’s highest military honor, President Obama awarded him the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday.
Sabo, then 22 years old, lost his life during a Vietnam War ambush in 1970 in Se San, Cambodia, during which he saved a fellow soldier’s life by shielding him with his body, continued fighting despite injuries and “saved the lives of many of his platoon members” that day, according to the White House. The paperwork for his honor had been lost for decades until, in 1999, another veteran and fellow fighter in the 101st Airborne Division found the paperwork while researching an article at the National Archives. He recruited Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., to finally get Sabo officially recognized.
Both of Sabo's parents have passed away, but his widow and brother were at the White House to receive the medal.