Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines

Eric Blehm. Crown, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8041-3951-9
Blehm (Fearless) delivers an intense tale of how a poor, troubled boy found salvation and purpose as a solider in the story of Raul "Roy" Benavidez (1935–1998), a Green Beret who saved "at least eight men" during a vicious May 1968 firefight in Cambodia. Incursions into Cambodia were so secret that the troops involved were sworn never to divulge any information about them. Green Beret units engaged in regular missions across the Cambodian border to hunt down North Vietnamese (NVA) troops who used the officially nonaligned country as a base to supply their forces in South Vietnam. On Benavidez's second deployment, he aided a unit surrounded by NVA troops and in the process suffered wounds so severe that he looked like a "human ketchup bottle." Blehm's harrowing and bloody descriptions of the fighting reveal how these missions depended on the paratroopers' mix of superior skill and sheer audacity. Benavidez's incredible actions earned him high accolades; years later, when news of his deeds spread following publication a story in his Texas hometown newspaper, his fellow soldiers pressed for Benavidez to receive his "long-overdue and unfairly denied Congressional Medal of Honor." Blehm gives the jungle hell of the Vietnam War a graphic, suspenseful treatment. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/25/2015
Release date: 04/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-8041-9474-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-553-55166-2
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-8041-3953-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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