Medal of Honor: A Vietnam Warrior's Story

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"Sergeant Benavidez's gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army". With these words, President Ronald Reagan placed the Medal of Honor around the neck of Green Beret Roy Perez Benavidez, the last Vietnam veteran to be so honored. The poor middle-school dropout and former migrant farmworker had come a long way. A half-Yaqui Indian, half-Mexican orphan, Roy Benavidez had fought his way out of the bigotry of South Texas to serve with the army's elite - the Airborne and the Special Forces. Seriously wounded during his first Vietnam tour, he was told he would never walk again. Roy not only conquered his disability but demanded to return to combat. Giving up was not his style. After all, his radio call sign, "Tango Mike/Mike", stood for "That Mean Mexican". It was on his second tour that Roy Benavidez became a Special Forces legend. Twelve of his comrades operating deep inside Cambodia under secret CIA and presidential direction had been surrounded by hundreds of North Vietnamese regulars. Without hesitation, he volunteered to rescue them. Despite severe injuries - some suffered in hand-to-hand combat - Benavidez personally saved eight men and retrieved or destroyed nearly all of their top secret documents and communications equipment to prevent it fromfalling into enemy hands. The life story of Vietnam hero Roy Benavidez is that of a man of pride and dignity who found in himself the strength to overcome his weaknesses and to meet the challenges of his personal destiny. Medal of Honor is an inspirational story for each and every one of us.

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