View Full Version : Memorial to Roy P Benavidez........

01-25-2012, 20:46

Big Teddy :munchin

01-10-2013, 18:32
My brother found this video, thought I would share.

Lest we forget.


01-10-2013, 19:06
Thanks Gypsy.

Benavidez, Roy P.
Born: August 5, 1935
Died: November 29, 1998
Home State: Texas
Service: Army
Conflict: Vietnam War
Age at Time of Award: 23

Roy P. Benavidez was born on August 5, 1935, in Lindenau, near Cuero, Texas. His parents were of Mexican and Yaqui Indian ancestry. When he was two years old, his father died of tuberculosis and his mother remarried. However, she died five years later, also from tuberculosis. He and his younger brother and half-sister moved to El Campo to live with an uncle. He dropped out of middle school in order to help support the family by working in the fields, picking beets and cotton.

Benavidez enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard in 1952 and enlisted in the Regular Army in June 1955. Aft er completion of airborne school, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1964, he was sent to Vietnam, where he was assigned as an adviser to a South Vietnamese infantry regiment.

During a patrol, he was severely injured by a land mine and was evacuated to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Doctors there feared he would never walk again, but he proved them wrong and walked out of the hospital under his own power in July 1966. He returned to Fort Bragg, where he underwent training to become a Green Beret.

On his second tour in Vietnam in 1968, Benavidez, now a staff sergeant, was assigned to the super-secret MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) based at Loc Ninh, near the Cambodian border. On May 2, 1968, a 12-man Special Forces reconnaissance patrol was surrounded by a North Vietnamese Army battalion. Benavidez heard the radio call for help and boarded a helicopter to go to the aid of the beleaguered patrol. Once in the area, he directed the helicopter to a nearby clearing and leaped from the hovering aircraft . Carrying several medical bags, he made his way under heavy enemy fire to the US patrol. By this time, the team members were already dead or too injured to make it to an extraction zone. During the six-hour battle that ensued, Benavidez continually exposed himself to withering fire to come to the aid of his comrades, suffering a total of 37 separate bayonet, bullet, and shrapnel wounds while simultaneously directing the defense of the unit and trying to organize an emergency extraction. The first extraction ended in tragedy when the helicopter was shot down just after Benavidez and the survivors of the patrol got on board. Despite his wounds, Benavidez established a hasty defense around the downed aircraft and called in tactical air support and attack helicopters to help hold back the enemy forces. Finally, he was able to get his surviving comrades on a second extraction helicopter. He was the last man on the aircraft. When they arrived back at the base, his comrades thought Benavidez was dead. He was being placed into a body bag when he came to and was evacuated to Saigon, where he underwent surgery. Somehow, he survived his multiple wounds.

Benavidez was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic actions; he was credited with saving eight American lives. In 1973, the full extent of Benavidez’s actions would become known, and he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. However, the time limit on the medal had expired. An appeal to Congress resulted in an exemption for Benavidez, but he was still denied the medal because the board required an eyewitness account. In 1980, however, a witness was located—an old friend who Benavidez thought had been killed in the battle. The man, radioman Brian O’Connor, who learned by chance about the effort to have his friend awarded the Medal of Honor, submitted a 10-page sworn statement on the battle and Benavidez’s actions to save his companions. Finally, on February 24, 1981, President Ronald Reagan presented the Medal of Honor to Benavidez in a White House ceremony.

Shortly aft er the ceremony, the Social Security Administration, as part of costcutting moves, terminated Benavidez’s disability benefits, along with those of thousands of other veterans. Retired from the Army in 1976, he still suff ered from shrapnel in his heart and a punctured lung, but he was deemed “able to work.” Benavidez subsequently testified before the House Select Committee on Aging about how veterans needed their benefits to get by. Shortly thereafter, his Social Security benefits were reinstated when the Social Security Administration abandoned the effort to terminate veterans’ disability benefits.

In retirement, Benavidez was very active as an inspirational speaker at schools and civic events. He also frequently spoke to troops at US installations in the United States and around the world.

Roy Benavidez died from complications from diabetes on November 29, 1998, in San Antonio, and he was buried with full military honors at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. A number of installations and buildings have been named in Benavidez’s honor in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Additionally, the US Navy named one of its Bob Hope–class roll-on roll-off vehicle cargo ships the USNS Benavidez.

James H. Willbanks

01-10-2013, 19:09
Thanks for posting that.

01-10-2013, 19:11
My brother found this video, thought I would share.

Lest we forget.


Gypsy, unbelievable....Thanks for bringing this thread back. Thanks for sharing.


01-31-2013, 12:03
I found this one while doing research on MSG Bensavidez for college.