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Roy Benavidez
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Military Personnel
    (August 5, 1935-November 29, 1998)
    Born in Cuero, Texas
    Full name was Raul Perez 'Roy' Benavidez
    Master Sergeant (MSG), former Staff Sergeant
    US Army Special Forces (Green Berets) fighter
    Enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard (1952)
    Served in the Vietnam War (1965-72)
    Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in combat near Lộc Ninh, South Vietnam, on May 2, 1968 (Medal awarded on Feb. 24, 1981)
    He wrote three autobiographies.
    His first book was titled 'The Three Wars of Roy Benavidez.'
    There was a hesitancy to award him the Medal of Honor because the period between the act and the appeal exceeded the time limit.
    Before presenting him with his Medal, President Ronald Reagan turned to the press to joke 'If his story were a movie script, you wouldn't believe it!'
    A widely circulated video of him giving a motivational speech has been incorrectly pegged as an acceptance speech for his Medal of Honor (actually the speech was given ten years later - at the Million Dollar Round Table Annual Meeting, in New Orleans).
    By the age of seven, he had lost both his parents to tuberculosis.
    His 1991 speech has been regularly played in ROTC classrooms throughout the country.
    He stepped on a landmine after being sent to Vietnam as an adviser to an Infantry unit.
    This resulted in his being paralyzed from the waist down and hospitalized at a base in the Philippine Islands.
    He was told he would never walk again, but would sneak out of his bed every night to strengthen his legs by crawling on the wall.
    Within nine months, to the shock of the military base's doctors he was walking again. Even more shockingly, he chose to return to combat in Vietnam after regaining his strength.
    On May 2, 1968, armed only with a knife, he charged into the ambush of a 12-man Special Forces by over 1,000 men.
    In what came to be known as the ‘Six Hours of Hell,’ he was stabbed by a guerilla fighter with a bayonet (which he removed with his own knife).
    He sustained a total of 37 separate bullet, bayonet, and shrapnel wounds from the six-hour fight.
    He was mistaken for dead by medics, who even placed him in a body bag before a friend identified him at the very last minute (Benavidez had to spit in the doctor’s face to keep him from zipping the body bag and prove he was still alive).
    The initial denial for an upgrade of his Distinguished Service Cross was over the eyewitness requirement (Benavidez had long believed that he was the only survivor of the battle).
    By sheer chance, the only living witness - by this time living in Australia - caught word of the effort to award him the Medal and provided the testimonial that confirmed his acts of heroism.
    He's the namesake for 'The Benavidez Room' at the US Military Academy, which even features a G.I. figure in his likeness.
    He was a hero.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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