An American Hero: A Texas Son

“Roy Benavides served two tours in Vietnam as a Green Beret.  During his second tour in 1968 he would be involved in an enemy action for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

“In 1973, after more detailed accounts became available, Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Ralph R. Drake insisted that Benavidez receive the Medal of Honor. By then, however, the time limit on the medal had expired. An appeal to Congress resulted in an exemption for Benavidez, but the Army Decorations Board denied him an upgrade of his Distinguished Service Cross to the Medal of Honor. The Army board required an eyewitness account from someone present during the action; however, Benavidez believed that there were no living witnesses of the “Six Hours in Hell.”

“Unbeknownst to Benavidez, there was a living witness, who would later provide the eyewitness account necessary: Brian O’Connor, the former radioman of Benavidez’s Special Forces team in Vietnam. O’Connor had been severely wounded (Benavidez had believed him dead), and he was evacuated to the United States before his superiors could fully debrief him.”

Read it all.

Via Andy at MyOldRV

2 responses to “An American Hero: A Texas Son

  1. As I recall, Benevides and his supporters actively lobbied for The Medal. That kinda takes something away from the whole thing, to me. The whole concept of medals is corrupt, really. Officers get the Silver Star for being there, for instance.

  2. Very political, medals, I agree. Field grade officers (major and above) may get the silver for just being there, but lieutenants and captains don’t. When he was in Congress, according to biographer Caro, LBJ got a silver star just for flying with a bomber crew in the Pacific. Disgusting.