|Birthplace:||Hampton, VA, USA|
|Death:||Died in Hau Nghia, Vietnam|
|Cause of death:||KIA hand grenade|
|Occupation:||Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division|
|Managed by:||Marvin Caulk, Volunteer Curator|
About Ruppert Leon Sargent, 1lt
Ruppert Leon Sargent (January 6, 1938 – March 15, 1967) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.
Sargent joined the Army from Richmond, Virginia, and by March 15, 1967 was serving as a First Lieutenant in Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. On that day, while in Hau Nghia Province in the Republic of Vietnam, Sargent threw himself on two enemy hand grenades, sacrificing himself but saving the lives of two men nearby.
Ruppert Sargent, aged 29 at his death, was buried in Hampton National Cemetery, Hampton, Virginia.
Medal of Honor citation
Lieutenant Sargent's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was investigating a reported Viet Cong meeting house and weapons cache. A tunnel entrance which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful. He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon sergeant. 1st Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw 2 hand grenades that landed in the midst of the group. 1st Lt. Sargent fired 3 shots at the enemy then turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the 2 grenades. He was mortally wounded, and his 2 companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded. By his courageous and selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades. 1st Lt. Sargent's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army