20 years old
from Coweta, Oklahoma
1st Infantry Regiment,
196th Light Infantry Brigade,
February 1949 – January 17, 1970
On September 15, Spc. 4 Donald Sloat was posthumously awarded the Medal Of Honor for his actions in 1970 in Vietnam: Specialist Four Donald P. Sloat distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as a machine gunner with 3rd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam, Jan. 17, 1970.
D Company operated out of Fire Support Base Hawk Hill in an area of I Corps. They were located south and southwest of Danang providing security for local villages and conducting regular searches for NVA units. The territory they patrolled stretched from the coastal lowlands to the mountains and jungle. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong activity was common in the area, and D Company suffered regular casualties from snipers and booby traps.
On the morning of Jan. 17, 1970, Sloat’s squad was conducting a patrol, serving as a blocking element in support of tanks and armored personnel carriers from F Troop in the Que Son valley. As the squad moved through dense 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.
When the grenade rolled down the hill toward Sloat, he had a choice. He could hit the ground and seek cover, or pick up the
grenade and throw it away from his fellow Soldiers. After initially attempting to throw the grenade, Sloat realized that detonation was imminent, and that two or three men near him would be killed or seriously injured if he couldn’t shield them from the blast.
In an instant, Sloat chose to draw the grenade to his body, shielding his squad members from the blast, and saving their lives. Sloat’s actions define the ultimate sacrifice of laying down his own life in order to save the lives of his comrades. Specialist Four Donald P. Sloat’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so that we may get to enjoy our freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When
There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look
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