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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Legend by Eric Blehm

Every so often there's a book I read that I think about for months and even years afterward. One of those is Fearless by Eric Blehm and now I can add Legend to that list. Before I began reading this book I knew I had a very limited knowledge of the Vietnam War so I was anxious to read this and learn more. What I took away from the story of Roy Benavidez and the events that transpired on May 2, 1968, are so much more than dates and facts but rather experiences and stories that truly made this man a legend. While the author does cover Roy's entire life the main part of the book surrounds one day's events and what he did to save the lives of those surrounded by the enemy in the jungles of Cambodia, a country where we supposedly did not have American troops. Roy's actions were nothing less than heroic and practically unbelievable considering the wounds he himself had sustained. Unfortunately it took years for him to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor which he undoubtedly deserved much sooner. What I love about Legend is that the author takes the time to make you feel like you know all the other people involved that day. This makes the book painful at times but it's a truly gifted writer that can evoke such emotions from the reader. I found myself nervous for the crews flying overhead trying to protect their men on the ground, heartbroken over those who didn't make it out that day, and guilt for how these men were treated when they arrived home. Once I finished the book I had tears streaming down my face and I couldn't help but cry again later as I recounted to my husband and then my mother why I loved this book so much.

There were several quotes from the book that I wanted to share but I'll only share a couple that I found particularly moving:

"The one good thing about this place, you sure learn not to take anything for granted. Not anything." -Larry McKibben

"Today I go to the airport and see strangers shaking the hands of men and women in uniform, and it makes me smile. I don't think those people necessarily believe in the politics of our current wars, they just know this young man or woman is serving his country. That was all we did in Vietnam. I'll say it again: I'm proud of my service."
-Pete Gailis

I can promise you that after reading this book you won't look at this period of our nation's history the same way and I'd be willing to bet it may alter your view of the struggles our Vietnam veterans still have today. Get your tissues out and prepare to be moved by the story of Roy Benavidez, a true American legend.

If you'd like to read more about the book you can do so here and if you want to learn more about Eric Blehm you can do that here. After reading Fearless and Legend I can't wait to get my hands on his other books!

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I know just the person to buy it for...thank you for the recommendation! I've been in such a non reading funk lately, and perhaps it's been my move and such. I need to get back to it!


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