In Legend, acclaimed bestselling author Eric Blehm takes as his canvas the Vietnam War, as seen through a single mission that occurred on May 2, 1968. A twelve-man Special Forces team had been covertly inserted into a small clearing in the jungles of neutral Cambodia—where U.S. forces were forbidden to operate. Their objective, just miles over the Vietnam border, was to collect evidence that proved the North Vietnamese Army was using the Cambodian sanctuary as a major conduit for supplying troops and materiel to the south via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. What the team didn’t know was that they had infiltrated a section of jungle that concealed a major enemy base. Soon they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of NVA, under attack, low on ammunition, stacking the bodies of the dead as cover in a desperate attempt to survive the onslaught.
When Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez heard the distress call, he jumped aboard the next helicopter bound for the combat zone without hesitation.
My thoughts: Legend is a story worth reading. As I turned the pages, I realized how little I knew of the time when the United States was fighting in Vietnam. I was young, the age of many of these young soldiers, during this time. But I honestly had little idea the intensity of each moment. True, no matter the time or age or era, war is terrible and truly beyond comprehension for the lay person. But I wasn't ready for the reality that this story brought forth.
Beginning with the background of who Roy Benavidez is and what shaped him into the individual he became is a wonderful story in itself. His was the story of the migrant worker family and how they were short on schooling because they followed the crops and the seasons. A story of hard work. A story of teen rebellion and a grandfather who taught him pride in family and achievement, and whose guidance steered him toward a better life. As he moved into army life, he was determined to do well.
After serving a tour in Vietnam and becoming so seriously wounded he should never have been able to walk again, the determination instilled into him by his grandfather to overcome adversity drove him to push himself to recovery and strength. He was determined to remain in the army. The army was determined that if he remained he would have a desk job. He was determined to become a Green Beret in Special Forces. How he achieved this is miraculous and intriguing.
As the story progresses it is easy to get bogged down in names, divisions, acronyms, and other military "speak." However, the lay person (especially a Southern Lady with no experience or knowledge of military life) can read through this even not understanding and follow this fantastic story.
I highly recommend this book and believe that Eric Blehm has written another best seller. I also a believe that this story of a United States Army man, Green Beret Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez, needs to be told. It needs to be told so ALL of those who served in Vietnam can be appreciated for their service. There is to be NO SHAME for those who served.
About the author: Eric Blehm is the bestselling author of Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown and The Only Thing Worth Dying For, which recounts the story of the first Special Forces A-team to infiltrate Taliban-held southern Afghanistan weeks after 9/11. Both titles were New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. His book The Last Season was the winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and was named by Outside magazine as one of the 10 “greatest adventure biographies ever written.” Blehm lives in southern California with his wife and children.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary from the Blogging for Books review program to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for this review.