Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raul (Roy) Perez Benavidez

Raul (Roy) Perez Benavidez (1935 - 1998) was born in Lindenau near Cuero, Texas. His parents were of Mexican and Yaqui Indian ancestry. When he was two years old, his father died of tuberculosis and his mother remarried. Five years later, his mother died from tuberculosis too. Benavidez and his younger brother, Roger and half sister María Guadalupe moved to El Campo, where their grandfather, uncle and aunt raised them along with eight cousins.
Benavidez shined shoes at the local bus station, labored on farms in Texas and Colorado, and worked at a tire shop in El Campo. He attended school sporadically, and at the age 15 he dropped out to work full-time to help support the family.
Benavidez became a member of the Studies and Observations Group of the US Army. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat near Lộc Ninh, South Vietnam on May 2, 1968.
The Special Operations Association is a group of veterans from all services that participated in the secret cross border operations into Cambodia, Laos and other denied areas during the Vietnam war.   
Remembering Benavidez, preliminary studies for several small sculptures depicting Roy on the battlefield, helping his fallen comrades, and a life size bust were displayed for the membership of the SOA with the assistance of Benavidez Advisory Group members. 

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