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Violent But True Bed Time Stories: Roy Benavidez

November 22, 2017
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The story of Roy Benavidez, if you haven't heard it before, is always just as unbelievable and amazing as the first time you hear it. Master Sergeant Raul Perez "Roy" Benavidez's story of heroism and bravery under fire have an almost superhuman element to them. How could a mere man survive and do all that he did?

Roy Benavidez

We're going to allow the actual citation to do a lot of the talking here as there is almost poetic coldness to the writing that makes it seem as if Master Sergeant Benavidez did this sort of thing all the time.

"On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire."

It's one thing to be on patrol and make contact with the enemy, you're already there, you're involved from the beginning. Benavidez was not on that patrol, he was back at the FOB (Forward Operating Base). The actions he took were completely of his own initiative and own choosing, because "friendship is special," he left to lend a helping hand.

Roy Benavidez
"Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters, of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, returned to off-load wounded crew members and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team.Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader."
Roy Benavidez

This was just the beginning of the day that can only be defined as supernatural. Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez will be forever remembered as one of the toughest, grittiest warriors to ever walk upon terra firma.

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