Memorial Day

Discussion in 'Announcement & News' started by gman, May 23, 2008.

  1. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    For anyone who has served or is currently serving now, on behalf of my family I would like to thank you for your protection and dedication to our great nation. It is the sacrifice that you have made that makes our country the place it is today. Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day

    Glenn & Family
     
  2. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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  3. Ditto. Well said gman.

    Phantom Fisherman
     
  4. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    What Glenn said. I have taken the liberty below to give just one example of what "sacrifice" means. A couple of others on this board and I work for a national data center for the VA. Although we do not deal directly with veterans, we have all taken tours of the Medical Centers and seen what war does to young men--some now very old. I personally had the privilege to meet many WW I vets and one veteran of the Spanish American War. Until a few years ago, we also held ceremonies at our Center here in Austin (on Veterans Day—not Memorial Day) At several of those, we had the privilege to have Medal of Honor Winner Master Sergeant Roy Benevides as our honored guest. I will go to my grave, honored to have shaken this man’s hand. He was born in Cuero, Texas and died in 1998. When he walked, he was stiff as a board--from his wounds. But you could look at him and know that he could whip your ass--broken body and all. Ordinarily, I would apologize for such a long post, but after reading his citation for the Medal of Honor, presented by President Reagan, I don’t think any of you will be bored. (And remember, this is only one of the millions of acts of heroism our troops have committed on our behalf):

    “Master Sergeant, then Staff Sergeant, United States Army. Who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely glorious actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B-56, 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. 3 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 crew members 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 gun ships 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 with additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed 2 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 voluntarily join 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 8 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.”
     
  5. papio

    papio Senior Member

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    Msgt Roy Benevides was an honored guest speaker at one of my squadrons recall. Till this day I am still in awe of his bravery. What an extraordinary and inspiring man. To all active/retired/DOD personnel and their families. Thank you and have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

    Hana pa' a & Aloha
     
  6. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    papio: You may enjoy a little anecdote from the last Veterans' Day ceremony Msgt Benevides attended at our Center. After the flag had been raised, he was in uniform, at attention, while his Medal of Honor citation was being read to a constant drum roll. A bunch of little third graders were standing with their hands over their hearts waiting to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and listening to the citation. When it came to the part about being clubbed before killing his assailant, one of the little tykes, was heard to say in a voice audible to at least several hundred people (including his teacher) "Holy Shit!" To my thinking, that about sums it up.

    Russ
     
  7. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    Ditto there Gman.

    I have a nephew that deployed on a Sub Christmas Day. He's an officer in the Navy. He's still not back but we are all very proud of him. When he returns he wants to go offshore fishing "On top of the Water".

    He has fished with me many times. I look forward to watching him bend a rod.
     
  8. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    We just found out a friend who was a Marine, who has been home for almost 4 years has been told he is going back. He just deployed back to base this week, don't know what his wife and 2 kids are going to do now