Roy P. Benavidez was born on August 5, 1935 in Lindenau near Cuero, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Army in June 1955 and served in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and the United States.
On May 2, 1968, in an area west of Loc Ninh, Republic of Vietnam, Staff Sergeant Benavidez was monitoring a twelve-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team, as part of the Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. The team came under heavy enemy gunfire and requested emergency extraction. Staff Sergeant Benavidez volunteered to return to the area and assisted with extracting the troops. Under considerable automatic weapon and grenade fire, and severely wounded in the head, legs, abdomen, and back, Benavidez redirected the troops, retrieved classified documents from the dead team leader, and helped load the dead and the wounded on a helicopter that minutes later crashed due to the pilot becoming mortally wounded. Despite his life-threatening injuries, Benavidez secured the safety of the soldiers and began calling in aircraft for another extraction attempt, which was finally successful. Because of Benavidez’s feats of valor and bravery beyond the call of duty, the lives of at least eight men were saved. On July 24, 1968 Benavidez was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor, the Army’s second highest honor. Upon learning that his Commander had twice recommended him unsuccessfully for the Congressional Medal of Honor, Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez and his supporters supplied the Department of the Army with additional eye-witness testimonies of his actions on May 2, 1968 and with the support of other military personnel and elected officials, Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez was finally awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on February 24, 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.
During and after his career in the military, Benavidez was active in veteran issues. After receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, Benavidez was in great demand as a speaker to schools, military and civic groups. He was honored throughout the country and received letters from students, service personnel, and citizens throughout the world. He was the subject of numerous articles and his life and experiences were chronicled in three books. Medal of Honor Recipient, Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez died on November 29, 1998 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 63.
Benavides is a true legend worthy of enormous respect. Thank you to Treadstone71 for make me aware of the giant anamoing men and trailblazer. RIP, Sir!