Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Roy Benavidez, Medal of Honor winner

"Legend" is a military biography of Special Forces staff sergeant Roy Benavidez.

It tells of Roy's younger days in Texas and how he came to the belief to help others and his heroic dedication to a cause.

Roy goes through the ranks and becomes a staff sergeant. He is motivated by the song and story of "The Battle of the Green Berets" and is stationed in Vietnam.

The secret war was a term for the insertion of U.S. troops into Cambodia. Cambodian leader Prince Norodom Sihanouk didn't admit that the North Vietnamese were traveling down the Ho Chi Min Turnpike and U.S. President Johnson didn't want it known that we were sending troops into Cambodia to stop the North Vietnamese from using Cambodia to send troops and weapons to South Vietnam.

The 240th Assault Helicopter Company sends an assault group to Cambodia but they didn't know that there was a concealed and heavily armed base in that vicinity. The men are pinned down and ask for extraction. Benavidez gets on a chopper, goes to the site and rushes nearly 100 yards through enemy fire to reach and help in the rescue.

He was denied the Medal of Honor because officials didn't want to admit that U.S. soldiers fought there but this story tells how added information was provided and Benavidez was given the Medal by President Reagan.

The battle scenes are well described and painful to read as we witness U.S. and South Vietnamese soldiers being shot and killed. Their bravery comes through time and time again.

I read this biography after reading "American Sniper" the Chris Kyle story. It amazes me how brave some people can be in the midst of tremendous odds and I honor their memory.

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