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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday Nov 10 01:12 AM

Nov 10th, 2017: Roy Benavidez

Raul Perez "Roy" Benavidez of Lindenau, TX, son of a Mexican sharecropper father who died when Roy was 2, and a Yaqui Indian
mother who died when he was 7, so was raised by a grandfather, aunt and uncle. As you would expect from a kid with his
background he shined shoes, went to school sporadically until 15, worked on farms in CA and WA, then a tire shop. Then like
many poor folk with too much past, and not much future, he joined the Texas Army National Guard in '52 during the Korean War.
In 1955, he switched Army active duty. In 1959, he married Hilaria, completed airborne training, and was assigned to the 82nd
Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
I guess you can say he flourished.



Quote:
Benavidez returned to Fort Bragg and began training for the elite Army Special Forces. Once qualified and accepted, he became a member of the 5th Special Forces Group; and the Studies and Observations Group (SOG).
-skip-
In 1965 he was sent to South Vietnam as an advisor to an Army of the Republic of Vietnam infantry regiment. He stepped on a land mine during a patrol and was evacuated to the United States, where doctors at Fort Sam Houston concluded he would never walk again and began preparing his medical discharge papers. As Benavidez noted in his 1981 MOH acceptance speech, stung by the diagnosis, as well as flag burnings and media criticism of the US military presence in Vietnam he saw on TV, he began an unsanctioned nightly training ritual in an attempt to redevelop his ability to walk. Getting out of bed at night (against doctors' orders), Benavidez would crawl using his elbows and chin to a wall near his bedside and (with the encouragement of his fellow patients, many of whom were permanently paralyzed and/or missing limbs), he would prop himself against the wall and attempt to lift himself unaided, starting by wiggling his toes, then his feet, and then eventually (after several months of excruciating practice that by his own admission often left him in tears) pushing himself up the wall with his ankles and legs. After over a year of hospitalization, Benavidez walked out of the hospital in July 1966, with his wife at his side, determined to return to combat in Vietnam. Despite continuing pain from his wounds, he returned to South Vietnam in January 1968.

On May 2, 1968, a 12-man Special Forces patrol, which included nine Montagnard tribesmen, was surrounded by an NVA infantry battalion of about 1,000 men. Benavidez heard the radio appeal for help and boarded a helicopter to respond. Armed only with a knife, he jumped from the helicopter carrying his medical bag and ran to help the trapped patrol.
After the battle, he was evacuated to the base camp, examined, and thought to be dead. As he was placed in a body bag among the other dead in body bags, he was suddenly recognized by a friend who called for help. A doctor came and examined him but believed Benavidez was dead. The doctor was about to zip up the body bag when Benavidez managed to spit in his face, alerting the doctor that he was alive.
Quote:
The six-hour battle left Benavidez with seven major gunshot wounds, twenty-eight shrapnel holes, and both his arms were slashed by a bayonet. He had shrapnel in his head, scalp, shoulder, buttocks, feet, and legs, his right lung was destroyed, and he had injuries to his mouth and back of his head from being clubbed with a rifle butt. One AK-47 bullet entered his back and exited just beneath his heart. Benavidez was evacuated to Fort Sam Houston's Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and he spent almost a year in hospitals recovering from his injuries.
Benavidez's commander felt that he deserved the Medal of Honor for his valor in saving eight lives, but he put Roy in for the Distinguished Service Cross because the process for awarding a Medal of Honor would have taken much longer, and his commander was sure Benavidez would die before he got it.


Quote:
The six-hour battle left Benavidez with seven major gunshot wounds, twenty-eight shrapnel holes, and both his arms were slashed by a bayonet. He had shrapnel in his head, scalp, shoulder, buttocks, feet, and legs, his right lung was destroyed, and he had injuries to his mouth and back of his head from being clubbed with a rifle butt. One AK-47 bullet entered his back and exited just beneath his heart. Benavidez was evacuated to Fort Sam Houston's Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and he spent almost a year in hospitals recovering from his injuries.
Benavidez's commander felt that he deserved the Medal of Honor for his valor in saving eight lives, but he put Roy in for the Distinguished Service Cross because the process for awarding a Medal of Honor would have taken much longer, and his commander was sure Benavidez would die before he got it.
As if he hadnít been through enough, on 9-10-68 he received 4 Purple Hearts and the DNC from that dickhead Westmoreland and on
2-24-81 he received the Medal of Honor from that dickhead Reagan.

link


Leus  Friday Nov 10 08:07 AM

During his "six hours in hell" he actually used an AK-47 so that's accurate.

Why isn't there a movie about him?



phelps  Friday Nov 10 10:58 AM

Dickheads?

All he got from that dickhead Carter was a suggestion to wear a sweater, and all that dickhead Clinton would have given him was a cigar.



sexobon  Friday Nov 10 09:15 PM

I met Roy, he was a nice guy. He retired in the San Antonio area where Ft. Sam Houston, home of the Army Medical Department, is located and I was assigned as a SF medical instructor. The didactic phase (phase 1 of 3 medical phases) of SF medical training was there back then (now at Ft. Bragg as a satellite school) and Roy would be a guest speaker at student graduation ceremonies. It was great having an inspiration like him available and willing to address the students. He went through the trouble of wearing his dress uniform for them. He acknowledged the intensity of the training they had gone through even though it paled in comparison to his real world experiences. Roy is missed.



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Nov 11 12:01 AM

Even without the MoH incident, it appears he was a hell of a good soldier...
unlike the dickheads who sent him in harms way for no good reason.



phelps  Saturday Nov 11 01:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Even without the MoH incident, it appears he was a hell of a good soldier...
unlike the dickheads who sent him in harms way for no good reason.
That would be dickhead Johnson (D-TX) and Dickhead Kennedy (D-MA).


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Nov 11 02:11 PM

Don't forget that dickhead Eisenhower who got us into that war and dickhead Nixon who expanded it to Laos and Cambodia.



Gravdigr  Saturday Nov 11 04:30 PM

I first read about Mr. Benavidez several years ago.

Genuine badass.



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