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Legend Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

The unforgettable account and courageous actions of the US Army's 240th Assault Helicopter Company and Green Beret Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez, who risked everything to rescue a Special Forces team trapped behind enemy lines.

In Legend, acclaimed best-selling author Eric Blehm takes as his canvas the Vietnam War as seen through a single mission that occurred on May 2, 1968. A 12-man Special Forces team had been covertly inserted into a small clearing in the jungles of neutral Cambodia - where US 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. Orphaned at the age of seven, Benavidez had picked cotton alongside his family as a child and dropped out of school as a teen before joining the army. Although he was grievously wounded during his first tour of duty in Vietnam and told he would never walk again, Benavidez fought his way back - ultimately earning his green beret.

What followed would become legend in the Special Operations community. Flown into the foray of battle by the courageous pilots and crew of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, Benavidez jumped from the hovering aircraft and ran nearly 100 yards through withering enemy fire. Despite being immediately and severely wounded, Benavidez reached the perimeter of the decimated team, provided medical care, and proceeded to organize an extraordinary defense and rescue. During the hours-long battle, he was bayoneted, shot, and hit by grenade shrapnel more than thirty times, yet he refused to abandon his efforts until every survivor was out of harm's way.

Written with extensive access to family members, surviving members of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, on-the-ground eyewitness accounts never before published, as well as recently discovered archival and declassified military records, Blehm has created a riveting narrative both of Roy Benavidez's life and career and of the inspiring, almost unbelievable events that defined the brotherhood of the air and ground warriors in an unpopular war halfway around the world. Legend recounts the courage and commitment of those who fought in Vietnam in service of their country and the story of one of the many unsung heroes of the war, whose actions would be scrutinized for more than a decade in a battle for a long overdue and what many believe was an unjustly denied Medal of Honor.

The case was reopened 13 years later, in 1980, when a long-lost - and believed dead - Green Beret eyewitness whom Benavidez had rescued that day came forth and wrote a statement that revealed, once and for all, what happened on that fateful day in May of 1968.

©2015 Random House Audio (P)2015 Eric Blehm

What the Critics Say

"Roy Benavidez is a real badass, a modern day Spartan, the heart of what every warrior prays for when everything goes wrong." (Marcus Luttrell, retired Navy SEAL and author of the number-one New York Times best seller Lone Survivor)

"I fought beside and led US Special Operations soldiers, sailors, and airmen during three wars - World War II, Korea, and Vietnam - including the men [of SOG] depicted in Legend. Never have I read a more powerfully honest, realistic, or moving account of the war in Southeast Asia. Eric Blehm masterfully encapsulates the hearts of the men, their impossible mission, and the quagmire of politics of the era and wraps it up in a single bloody battle that portrays the American fighting man at his best." (Major General John K. [Jack] Singlaub, US Army [Ret.])

"Legend may be the most important book ever written about the men of Special Operations. It brings to life in touching and brutal detail one of Special Operations Force's first true heroes as well as the other heroic men who fought and died with him in the jungles of Cambodia. Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez represented the best of the quiet professionals whose incredible actions were long overlooked and lost to history only to be rediscovered through Blehm's painstaking research and magnificent writing." (Lieutenant Colonel Jason Amerine, US Army Special Forces)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (661 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jon 08-09-15
    Jon 08-09-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Must read!"

    This story should be read by all people to help realize why it's important to honor soldiers, both past and present.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob 11-13-15
    Jacob 11-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "awesome"

    Another great narrative from Blehm. keep them coming sir! Love hearing about these men and the full story of their place in the world.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ronald 05-26-16
    ronald 05-26-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More relevance now than ever."

    While perhaps too intense for some., this is a significant story for today's young Americans.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Ammenti 04-27-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Amazing story"

    A must listen for fans off Vietnam non fiction this is a story that cannot be matched by fiction this is a story of true heroes

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MOE 04-03-16
    MOE 04-03-16
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    "A Story of an American Special Forces hero served his Country in Vietnam"

    Really enjoyed. Helped me better understand the twisted politics of the war in Vietnam from the White House on down. Most of all how the special forces soldiers performed in service to each other and made it possible for so many to return to their families who might not otherwise.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernardo Gomez Palacio NY, USA 08-20-15
    Bernardo Gomez Palacio NY, USA 08-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A Testament to the Humble Heroes of Vietnam"

    Truly inspiring! Eric Blehm reinvigorates the history of another hero of the US Armed Forces. He shares with us not only the prowess of the soldier but his life struggle as a kid and young man as well as his ethos and core values. In addition Fred Sanders does a fantastic job telling this story.

    In a time where young people embraces pop culture icons we have here a true example of life. Tango Mike Mike.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Bug Guy 10-07-17
    The Bug Guy 10-07-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Will give you goosebumps"

    An amazing story of courage, bravery and selfless displays of comradary. Wish I could have met him and his buddies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth L Pilgreen 09-29-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Credo"

    If everyone adopted his (West Point), our country would transform overnight. I know in my heart that God has eternal blessings for this man. God bless his family. I'm a better person for having read (listened) this book. Thank you Eric Blehm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry D. Morris Manteo, NC USA 09-28-17
    Jerry D. Morris Manteo, NC USA 09-28-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Outstanding History Lesson"

    I grew up in the sixties, turned sixteen in 1970, next on the agenda, United States Army and helicopter mechanic at eighteen. My focus was Vietnam! Advanced training, shoot, even jump school. Much to my chagrin, while learning to jump from planes on March 29th, 1973 our last trooper left Vietnam. I had to settle for Korea. As a door gunner and crew chief of my own bird, i was blessed with never having to shoot at another human being. As I listened to this book it took me back to a time long ago. As I grew to know Roy Benavidez through this book I saw the heart and soul of every red blooded American boy. Vietnam was a trying time for our country. For the world. Lest we never forget the dedication and sacrifice of our military men and women, regardless of the politics. Master Sergeant Benavidez, I salute you for your heroism both on and off the battlefield. I am a better man today because of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Bigogno 09-07-17
    M. Bigogno 09-07-17
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    "Inspirational to say the least."
    If you could sum up Legend in three words, what would they be?

    Inspiring. Proud. Humbling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Fred Sanders was a great reader. But the best part of the story is Raul Perez "Roy" Benavidez. What a warrior, patriot, selfless human being. This story made me pause and think so many times. Tears in my eyes for all the sacrifices so many made during the war, and my heart breaks to think that they were spat upon and vulgarities yelled when they returned from Vietnam. I am pleased to see how the times have changed in regards on how we greet and honor our military veterans today. I think society and present generations realize now that politics, and our veterans who serve, are two different entities. You don't have to agree with the politics, but (in my humble opinion) you ALWAYS honor and support your military veterans. And I honestly believe the support our present day veterans experience is because as a nation we learned that the way the Vietnam veterans were treated was flat out WRONG. Thank you Master Sargeant Raul Perez "Roy" Benavidez, your family and ALL who serve this country.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The whole book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The best of the best.


    Any additional comments?

    Just a thank you to all involved for bringing this story to light. Everyone should hear it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • M. J. Atkinson
    Bournemouth, England
    6/29/17
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    "Inspiration from forgotten a war"

    Well narrated retelling of a legend from the Vietnam war, his background and experience there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roystoned
    5/2/16
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    "Amazing heroism to help his fellow brothers in arms."

    A truly great story of a man who didn't understand how to quit! Despite sustaining injuries that would have put most men down Roy Benavidez beat the odds and went on a second tour. Had it not been for the attitude of this man many more people would be just statistics of the Vietnam war. His story presented here is a powerful tribute to a man of modesty who "would help someone in need ".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • harry
    8/28/15
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    "Outstanding interwoven memoir"

    Having read around 100 Vietnam memoirs with a specific interest in SOG, SF And LRRPS, I must say this is in the top two or three. It is outstanding. Well written and researched. Has a number of interwoven stories so you never get tired of one thread. The descriptions of firefights and military operations is excellent and vivid. As a soldier myself I honestly felt transported to the battlefield. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jut
    5/7/15
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    "Eric Blehm's best work yet! Loved every minute!"

    An excellent book about some of the bravest young men to fight and die in Southeast Asia, a modern classic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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