Roy P Benavidez was a Master Sergeant with the United States Army from 1952-1976. He enlisted in the military at age 17 and was eventually assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. He is the true definition of an American hero.
MSgt Benavidez was deployed to Vietnam twice during his career. The first time was in 1965, where he served as an advisor to an infantry regiment. Shortly after his arrival in the war-torn nation, he stepped on a landmine and was evacuated to the United States. His injuries were so severe that doctors never expected him to walk again. Fortunately, Roy was a fighter. Just one short year after his injury, he walked out of the hospital.
In 1968, Benavidez returned to Vietnam as a member of the 5th Special Forces Group. A few months after his arrival, Roy spent 6 hours completing one of the most heroic and important acts of the Vietnam War. On May 2nd, a 12-member Special Forces team found themselves surrounded by members of the North Vietnamese Army. They desperately radioed for backup and an evacuation team. Benavidez and his crew responded to the call from their comrades.
Armed only with a knife and a medical bag, he jumped out of a helicopter to attend to the trapped team. Over the course of 6 hours, he was shot multiple times and suffered a large amount of shrapnel and bayonet wounds. When they were finally extracted, he was transported to the nearest military hospital. Initially believed to be dead, Benavidez spent the next year recovering from his wounds.
In 1981, 13 years after the heroic actions, Benavidez was finally awarded the Medal of Honor by President Ronald Reagan.
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