On May 10, 1970, SPC Sabo and his platoon were ambushed by North Vietnamese soldiers in the Se San River valley of Cambodia. Approximately sixty soldiers from B Company, Third Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division were ambushed by an enemy force estimated to be a minimum of 150 soldiers. During heavy fire Sabo sustained multiple shrapnel wounds when he used his own body to protect a wounded soldier from a grenade blast. Despite the wounds he continued on gathering ammunition from fallen soldiers to distribute to his comrades during the fight and provided cover to medical helicopters evacuating wounded soldiers.
SPC Sabo did not survive the battle and was killed by enemy fire serving his country.
On Monday April 16, 2012, President Barack Obama officially announced that Ellwood City’s heroic son Leslie H. Sabo Jr. has been awarded the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor. The President will present the award to SPC Sabo’s wife Rose Mary Sabo-Brown at the White House in Washington D.C. on May 16th (42 years and 6 six days after he died.)