Tell me Again How Bad a Day You’ve Had…

Master Sergeant Raul (Roy) Perez Benavidez

Roy P. Benavidez- Soldier, Patriot, Badass of the First Order.  The Medal of Honor he was awarded is just part of Roy’s story.  He spent his “retirement” touring the world as a motivational speaker inspiring all but especially children to stay in school, stay off of drugs and get an education.  Although hailed as a Hero, Benavidez said that the future leaders of America, the children who now stay in school and off of drugs are the real heroes.

In 2001, Hasbro Toys issued the first Hispanic G.I. Joe in the image of Benavidez.  Roy joined only three  others so honored.   William “The Refrigerator” Perry of the Chicago Bears, Space Shuttle Astronaut Robert Crippen and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

USNS Benavidez (T-AKR-306)

Named in his honor, USNS Benavidez is one of Military Sealift Command’s nineteen Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships and is part of the 17 ships in Military Sealift Command’s Sealift Program Office.

Now take 25 minutes out of your day to listen to the man himself.  Share it with anyone you know who’s struggling.  Share it with a child you Love.

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Citation to Accompany the Award
of
The Medal of Honor
to
Ssgt Roy P. Benavidez


Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters 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. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers 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. When he reached the leader’s body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy’s fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from behind by an enemy soldier. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, he sustained additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary.[3][note 1] He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez’ gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy 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. [4]

Fort Houston, Texa

VALOR- Stories of other people you might not know about.

Sergeant Major Plumley is Dead at 92

Greatest-generationA veteran of World War Two, Korea and Vietnam, Basil L. Plumley was an Icon in the U.S. Army way before Sam Elliot portrayed him in the movie “We were Soldiers and Young”.  Debbie Kimble, Plumley’s daughter, said her father died from cancer after spending about nine days at Columbus Hospice. Although the illness seemed to strike suddenly, Kimble said Plumley’s health had been declining since his wife of 63 years, Deurice Plumley, died last May on Memorial Day.

As a member of the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion,  82nd Airborne Division, Plumley jumped into Sicily, Selarno, Normandy and Holland.  He jumped into Korea as part of the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment.

Plumley in the Ia Drang ValleyHe is most famous for his actions as a Sergeant-Major of the US Army‘s 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at the Battle of Ia Drang (Vietnam, 1965).  To this day, there are veterans of the 1/7 CAV who are convinced that God may look like CSM Plumley, but HE is not nearly as tough as the Sergeant Major on sins small or large. Sam Elliot decided to down play his portrayal of Plumley . Known as “Old Iron Jaw”, he exacted professioinalism from those under him with ruthless detirmination. Plumley (quoting  himself)  added dialog to the film.

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One of the Plumley legends was deleted from the movie. Here it is.

AWARDS and MEDALS:

  • Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Purple Heart with three Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Army Air Medal and 8 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Army Presidential Unit Citation
  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with arrowhead device and 1 silver and 3 bronze campaign stars (to signify 8 campaigns)
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Army of Occupation Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal with one Gold Star
  • Korean Service Medal with one Arrowhead Device and three campaign stars
  • Vietnam Service Medal with eight campaign stars
  • Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
  • Republic of Vietnam Presidential Citation
  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm 3 Awards
  • United Nations Service Medal for Korea
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Award Honor Medal
  • Republic of Korea War Service Medal
  • Order of Saint Maurice
  • Combat Infantryman Badge (3rd Award)
  • Master Parachutist Badge with 5 Combat Jump Stars
  • French Croix de Guerre 82nd Airborne
  • Belgian Groix de Guerre 82nd Airborne
  • Dutch Order of the Orange 82nd Airborne
  • Doughboy Award 1999

Plumley Grave