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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US soldier killed in Cambodia to receive Medal of Honor

US soldier killed in Cambodia to receive Medal of Honor

The White House announced on Monday that US President Barack Obama will award a posthumous Medal of Honor to a US soldier who died during the country’s controversial invasion of eastern Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

Leslie Sabo, a 22-year-old soldier from the US state of Pennsylvania, died on May 10, 1970, while serving as a rifleman in the Kingdom.

His death occurred just 10 days after former President Richard Nixon announced that American troops had invaded eastern Cambodia, an area believed to be used by the northern Vietnamese to store weapons and supply their troops in the south.

Sabo was reported to have saved the lives of many fellow troops, as well as killed several North Vietnamese troops when his platoon was caught in an ambush near the Sesan River in Ratanakkiri.

The US ground campaign in Cambodia technically ended a few months later, on July 22, 1970, though the American forces only intensified their bombing of the Kingdom after this point.

President Obama will present the Medal of Honor, the US’s highest military decoration, to Sabo’s family during a ceremony that will take place at the White House on May 16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Stout at derek.stout@phnompenhpost.com

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