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USCIS Southeast Regional Office Orlando, Florida

Army Staff Sergeant Laszlo Rabel - Vietnam

Staff Sergeant Laszlo Rabel was born in Budapest in 1939 and escaped from Hungary after participating in the failed 1956 revolution against Soviet-backed Hungarian Communist forces. Rabel is thought to have lost several family members and friends in the uprising and he eventually made it across the border into Austria and found refuge in the United States. 

Rabel settled in Minnesota and enlisted in the Army in 1966 at the age of 27. Staff Sergeant Rabel was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as leader of Team Delta, 74th Infantry Detachment (LRRP), 173rd Airborne Brigade, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, on Nov. 13, 1968. At 1000 hours on this date, Team Delta was in a defensive perimeter conducting reconnaissance of enemy trail networks when a member of the team detected enemy movement to the front. As Staff Sergeant Rabel and a comrade prepared to clear the area, he heard an incoming grenade as it landed in the midst of the team's perimeter. With complete disregard for his life, Staff Sergeant Rabel threw himself on the grenade and, covering it with his body, received the complete impact of the immediate explosion. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, Staff Sergeant Rabel averted the loss of life and injury to the other members of Team Delta. By his gallantry at the cost of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, Staff Sergeant Rabel has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
His body was returned to the United States where it was buried in Section 52 of Arlington National Cemetery.

This text is from the official citations, military historical records, obituaries and other text posted on the Internet, including HomeOfHeroes.com, and the Military Times Hall of Valor. 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/25/2011