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Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam…

Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret's Heroic… (2015)

by Eric Blehm

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Legend is the life story of Roy Benavidez, a Medal of Honor recipient who in 1968 was injured during a firefight in Cambodia. The first half was slow background that is unmemorable. Roy is of an older generation, born 1935. He was not the boomer hippie generation typically associated with Vietnam. He had old fashioned values and a simple life philosophies ("help people in need" and "duty, country, honor"). The battle itself, comprising only a few hours in real life ("Six Hours in Hell."), is spectacular. Blehm had no trouble turning this material into high drama. It has a natural plot, when things can't get worse, they get worse. It almost plays out in real time of reading vs action, if you can read slow enough which is hard given the exciting events. There's almost no information about the Vietnamese involved in the fight other than body counts.

After receiving the medal personally from Ronald Reagan in 1981, Roy became a favorite icon of the 1980s conservative Christian right, for example Ross Perot wrote the forward to his memoir and he was often sought as a speaker. Eric Blehm is better known for his book Fearless which is being turned into a Hollywood movie. It's also about an American war hero. He seems to have found his market. Nothing wrong with that but after reading Blehm's The Last Season which is excellent, I was disappointed this was not more nuanced. ( )
  Stbalbach | Aug 21, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The stuff that Roy Benavidez did that earned him the Medal of Honor sounds fictional; no one could do what he did. Of course, he did it. Blehm does a good job of chronicling Benavidez's life from his beginnings as migrant farm worker through his military service and the battle that made him a war hero. ( )
  sgtbigg | Apr 27, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Keeping up with names and cast of characters is difficult. It would be easier if inserts a little reminder why this person is important and where we met them chapters ago.
Story is engaging and the writing is good. ( )
  lauranav | Jan 11, 2016 |
On May 2, 1968 Roy Benavidez, then a Staff Sergeant with the Army’s Green Beret Special Forces unit stationed in Vietnam, willingly jumped onto a helicopter to enter no-man’s-land in Cambodia where 12 men from his team were pinned down by enemy fire, sustaining heavy loss. Without thinking of his own safety, Benavidez jumped from the helicopter and into Special Forces history with his daring rescue of the surviving 8 men despite suffering devastating wounds.

Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/legend-a-harrowing-story-from-the-vietnam-war-of-one-green-berets-heroic-mission-to-rescue-a-special-forces-team-caught-behind-enemy-lines-eric-blehm/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Aug 9, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a free copy of this book through librarything.com. This is an inspiring true story about a green beret who went above and beyond to save lives during a fierce battle in the Vietnam War. I not only admired the lead character but also those around him. It's amazing to read about what these soldiers encountered as they fought for us in this war. Recommend for those who enjoy true military stories. ( )
  ewhatley | Jun 14, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804139512, Hardcover)

From the bestselling author of Fearless, the dramatic and unforgettable story of Roy Benavidez--a Green Beret in Vietnam who is known among special operations forces members today by a single word: "Legend." Legend tells the heroic story of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, and Benavidez's nearly suicidal rescue mission that saved eight lives and ultimately earned Benavidez a nomination for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In May 1968, a 12-man US Special Forces team entered the jungles of Cambodia on a covert mission to uncover evidence that communists were using the area as a major conduit for supplying the North Vietnamese Army. Little did they know they had infiltrated a section of jungle that concealed numerous enemy bases. They soon found themselves surrounded by enemy, low on ammunition, and using the bodies of their dead comrades as cover. 

Roy Benavidez, a Green Beret who had returned to the war after being grievously injured during his first tour of duty in 1965, heard the distress call and climbed onboard the next helicopter bound for the combat zone. What followed was one of the most daring one-man rescue missions in military history, in which Benevidez, aided by the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, rescued eight soldiers, while fending off heavy enemy fire and sustaining extensive injuries himself. Despite his wounds, he refused to stop his rescue efforts until the last of the team was out of harms way.  Only then did Benevidez, near death after being shot and stabbed more than 30 times, allow himself to be hauled aboard among the wounded and dead.  

With extensive access to family members, former comrades, surviving members of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, documents, and reports, bestselling author Eric Blehm has recreated the incredible story of Benavidez's life, and of the inspiring events of that day, beginning with Roy's poverty-stricken upbringing in Texas (orphaned at age seven, he was a migrant worker and a school drop-out).  Legend is a fascinating lens through which to revisit the Vietnam War, through the incredible narrative of one of the military's unsung heroes whose exploits and service resulted in the military's highest honor. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:41 -0400)

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