Military Connection: MOH to be Posthumously Awarded: By Debbie Gregory

SP4 SloatOn September 15, 2014, President Obama will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Specialist Four Donald P. Sloat from Coweta, Oklahoma.

Sloat enlisted in the Army on March 19, 1969. After training, he was sent to Vietnam is September of that same year. Sloat served as an M60 Machine Gunner with 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, American Division.

On the morning of January 17, 1970, during combat operations, SP4 Sloat performed above and beyond the call of duty to save the lives of his comrades. Sloat’s squad was conducting a patrol in the Que Son Valley. As the squad moved up a small hill in file formation, the lead soldier tripped a wire attached to a hand grenade booby-trap, set up by enemy forces. The grenade rolled down the hill toward Sloat.

At that moment, Sloat could have easy sought cover and preserved his own life. But instead, Sloat chose to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. After initially attempting to pick up and throw the grenade away from his unit, Sloat realized that detonation was imminent. He knew that the two or three soldiers closest to him would be killed or seriously injured if he couldn”t shield them from the blast. Sloat chose to draw the grenade to his body, shielding his squad members from the blast, and saving their lives.

SP4 Sloat lost his life that day.  His decision to lay down his life in order to save his comrades epitomized the term “committing the ultimate sacrifice.”

Normally, nominations for the Medal of Honor have to be submitted within three years of the act that justified the nation’s highest military honor. A statuary time waiver was approved by Congress in 2013 to award SP4 Sloat and his family the recognition that his sacrifice warrants.

It has been reported that Sloat’s brother, Dr. William Sloat of Enid, Oklahoma, will accept the Medal of Honor from President Obama on his brother’s behalf. The ceremony will be held on September 15, 2014 at the White House.

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Military Connection: MOH to be Posthumously Awarded: By Debbie Gregory