ARCHDALE, N.C. — Ron Gooch wasn’t going to miss his friend receiving the highest military honor.
Last week, the White House honored Leslie Sabo, Jr. with the Medal of Honor, posthumously.
“I was just proud to be there for Sabo,” said Gooch from his home in Archdale.
Gooch served in the same company with Sabo in Vietnam.
In April, 1970, Gooch was wounded during combat. A month later, from a hospital bed in Japan, he heard of Sabo being killed in what would become known as the Mother’s Day Ambush.
Recently discovered military records described how Sabo repelled an enemy attack in Cambodia, picked up a live grenade, and shielded his fellow soldiers from it before getting killed by a second grenade that he had thrown to kill the enemy in close quarters.
In all, 7 soldiers died that day and 28 were wounded.
Gooch remembers Sabo as a funny guy.
“He wore a red bandana and glasses all the time,” Gooch said.
Gooch recalled that Sabo liked to sing a song about his Rose. “His wife’s name was Rose, he sang that song all the time about her,” he said.
Rose Mary Sabo-Brown accepted her late husbands medal of honor last week.