- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama on Wednesday awarded the Medal of Honor to a Pennsylvania Army specialist killed in combat in 1970 while serving as a rifleman in Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

Spec. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. was awarded the medal posthumously for heroic action when his platoon was ambushed by North Vietnamese forces in 1970 near the village of Se San in eastern Cambodia.

A White House description of the action says Sabo saved the lives of several of his fellow soldiers. At one point, he grabbed a nearby enemy grenade, tossed it away and shielded a wounded comrade with his body, saving his life.

“Although wounded by the grenade blast, he continued to charge the enemy’s bunker,” the White House account says. “After receiving several serious wounds from automatic weapons fire, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and, when in position, threw a grenade into the bunker.”

He silenced the enemy, but the explosion also killed him.

Sabo’s widow, Rose Mary Sabo-Brown, accepted the medal during the White House ceremony.

According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the medal has been awarded 3,458 times since it was first awarded in 1863. There are fewer than 90 living recipients.

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