medal of honor


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The son of a Texas sharecropper and was part Yaqui Native American and part Mexican, young Benavidez grew up an orphan, poor, and dropped out of school in the 7th grade. He was labeled a ‘dumb Mexican’ through his early years.

He enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1952 and 3 years later moved to the Regular Army. He married, joined the 82nd Airborne Division and was jump qualified. He later went into Special Forces training and was accepted into the 5th Special Forces Group and Studies and Observation Group SOG.

In '65 he was sent to South Vietnam serving as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army and stepped on a land mine during a patrol and medical evacuated to the States. The doctors there determined that he would never walk again, but Benavidez showed them by conducting his own physical therapy at night to regain his ability to walk by crawling on his elbows and chin to a wall beside his bed, he would prop himself up against the wall and try to lift himself without physical assistance, but was cheered on by his fellow patients. It took a year of painful exercise, but in July '66 Benavidez walked out of the hospital, yes-walked, with his wife beside him and requested to be sent back to Vietnam.

It was granted in January '68.

On 2 May of that year, a 12-man Special Forces patrol comprised of 9 loyal Montagnards and 3 American leaders were engaged and quickly surrounded by an estimated 1,000 North Vietnamese Army soldiers. Hearing their frantic calls on the radio for help Benavidez ran for the helicopter and climbed on board armed only with a knife.

The landing zone was hot, but he’ realized that all the patrol members were either dead or wounded and unable to make it to the helicopter and ordered his helicopter to a nearby opening and jumped into it with a medical bag to take care of the wounded. So began a six-hour firefight. In his run to make it to the casualties Benavidez was wounded in the leg, face and head by enemy fire, but he doggedly continued, found the team members and rallied them to keep fighting to hold the enemy at bay to allow a medevac to occur.

He took smoke grenades and hurled them at the enemy in the tree line to direct close air support. When a helicopter came in, Benavidez picked up and carried off 6 of the patrol one by one to the helicopter. When they were on board he took a rifle and ran with the helicopter as it flew along towards where the other members were giving protecting fire from the NVA. When the patrol leader was killed, Benavidez managed to reach his body and recover classified materials, but was wounded again by enemy fire in the abdomen and shrapnel in his back. At that moment, the helicopter that was about to save them all was hit, the pilot killed, and it crashed into the LZ.

Benavidez ran back to the wreckage and pulled the dead and wounded and the others from it and set up a perimeter giving them hope with encouraging words and distributing ammo and water. The enemy fire was intense with automatic weapons and grenades coming from all sides. Using a radio, Benavidez began calling in close air support with gunship runs to allow another rescue attempt. He was hit again by a bullet through his thigh while dressing a wounded man.

A second helicopter came in to take them and the sergeant began taking them onboard, after taking one man and was carrying another, an NVA popped out and clubbed the sergeant in the head. Benavidez grappled with the enemy soldier and stabbed him in the head with his knife with enough force that it became stuck in the soldier’s head and couldn’t be removed.

When the last of the wounded were on board the sergeant saw two NVA rushing the helicopter, but the door gunners couldn’t engage them. Taking a rifle he gunned them both down. He made one last run around to gather and destroy the last of the classified material before boarding the helicopter. It was here when his adrenaline stopped and the serious nature of his wounds became known.

He received 37 puncture wounds, his intestines were out of his body, blinded by blood, a broken jaw, and shrapnel in his back he was thought to be dead with the helicopter touched down at base. He was pronounced dead by a doctor when he couldn’t feel a heartbeat, but the sergeant showed him by spitting in the doctor’s face. He recovered from his many injuries, but he wasn’t awarded the Medal of Honor. Instead, he was given the Distinguished Service Cross.

His friends clambered for this to be addressed, but Congress declared that too much time had passed and they needed eye witnesses to his actions. In 1980, Benavidez’s radioman, Brian O'Conner, provided a 10 page testimony about the firefight and was severely wounded in the same fight and thought to have died from his wounds, but he was alive and saw the news report on the news while vacationing in Australia. With his testimony the Review Board upgraded the Distinguished Service Cross to the Medal of Honor. On 24 February 1981 President Ronald Reagan bestowed the Medal of Honor to Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez to go with his other medals including;

5 Purple Hearts
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Good Conduct Medal with one silver and one bronze service loop
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with four campaign stars
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Texas Legislative Medal of Honor
Combat Infantry Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Army Special Forces Tab.

Not bad for a 'Dumb Mexican’.

Dedicated to the “Cactus Air Force”, this painting pays tribute to the USMC ace Joe Foss. Joe’s 20th air combat victory was an Imperial Japanese Navy G4M Betty Bomber, claimed on 12th November 1942 during the fight for Guadalcanal, whilst he was flying an F4F Wildcat. 

 The Japanese sent in 16 Betty Bombers and 30 covering Zeroes to attack American transports full of infantry.  Joe Foss and his Wildcats were flying a combat air patrol as top cover and dived headlong into the attackers, flying right down to the Betty Bombers on the deck.

 Showing his aggressive close-in fighter tactics and uncanny gunnery skills, Joe Foss hauled to within 100 yards of the nearest bomber and fired at the starboard engine, which spouted flame. 

 The G4M tried a water landing, caught a wingtip and tumbled into the sea. 

The painting captures the moment that the stricken Betty Bomber struggled to keep airborne and the Wildcat soared away, victory assured. This makes a wonderfully striking composition. Captain Joe Foss was later credited with 26 aerial victories and became the first Marine Corps fighter pilot to win the Medal of Honor

The First Female U.S. Army Surgeon- Dr. Mary Edwards Walker is the sole woman to have been awarded the Medal of Honor 

At the beginning of the Civil War, she volunteered for the Union Army as a civilian. The U.S. Army had no female surgeons, and at first she was only allowed to practice as a nurse. 

During this period, she served at the First Battle Of Bull Run (Manassas), July 21, 1861, and at the Patent Office Hospital in Washington, She worked as an unpaid field surgeon near the Union front lines, including at the Battle of Fredericksburg and in Chattanooga after the Battle of Chickamauga. 

As a suffragette, she was happy to see women serving as soldiers and alerted the press to the case of Frances Hook in Ward 2 of the Chattanooga hospital, a woman who served in the Union forces disguised as a man.  In September 1862, Walker wrote to the War Department requesting employment as a spy, but her proposal was declined.

In September 1863, she was employed as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian)" becoming the first female surgeon employed by the U.S. Army Surgeon. She was later appointed assistant surgeon of the 52nd Ohio Infantry. During her service, she frequently crossed battle lines and treated civilians.

On April 10, 1864, she was captured by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy, just after she finished helping a Confederate doctor perform an amputation. She was sent to Castle Thunder in Richmond, Virginia, and remained there until August 12, 1864, when she was released as part of a prisoner exchange. While she was imprisoned, she refused to wear the clothes provided because they were more "becoming of her sex”. Walker was exchanged for a Confederate surgeon from Tennessee on August 12, 1864.
She went on to serve during the Battle of Atlanta and later as supervisor of a female prison in Kentuck, and as the head of an orphanage in Tennessee.

Walker was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000.

Wednesday, May 3, 1967

  • President Johnson was reportedly asked by General Westmoreland, commander of United States forces in Vietnam, to increase to at least 600,000 the number of American troops there. General Westmoreland, who returned to Saigon yesterday from his visit to this country, was said to have requested the build-up by Jan. 1 because of increased enemy pressure in northern South Vietnam.
  • United States Marines won a violent 10-day struggle for control of a hill in mountainous country just south of the demilitarized zone in South Vietnam. At the same time an American spokesman disclosed that United States planes, in the biggest air strike so far against North Vietnam’s MIG fleet, had destroyed 11 enemy planes, three In the air and eight on the ground.
  • Prime Minister Wilson announced in the House of Commons that the British Government would ask for membership in the European Common Market. Solemnly, he said that “this is a historic decision which could well determine the future of Britain, of Europe and indeed of the world for decades to come.” President de Gaulle of France, who vetoed Britain’s bid for membership four years ago. was reported still opposed to the move.
  • President Johnson, at a Medal of Honor ceremony honoring a marine killed in Vietnam, again castigated critics of his Vietnam policy. The President, who on Monday defended the right to criticize and also the right to answer that criticism, declared at the ceremony that his critics should acknowledge what their dissent was costing the country. 
  • L. Mendel Rivers, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, described the Defense Departments designation of its proposed draft lottery (“FAIR” for Fair And Impartial Random selection process) as a public relations gimmick. He said he would oppose a lottery and work for new’ legislation to prevent the President from establishing one. 
  • An investigation of subversive influence on racial disturbances was begun by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. A Cleveland detective testified that riots in his city were organized by Black Nationalists, with Communist exploitation involved.
  • The Student Homophile League—its purpose to achieve “equal rights” for homosexuals—has been chartered by Columbia University as a student organization. The group of about a dozen students, who said there are heterosexuals and at least one Barnard College woman among the members—is reported to be the first of its kind on any university campus.
Medal of Honor: Frontline [PS2, 2002, US]

Here we are with World War II part IV of the Medal of Honor series. I’m not doing Allied Assault - the best game in the series - because it is a PC game, and I save older PC games for brief reviews/artistic inspiration in the UPCOMING FANTASTIC ALTERNATIVE GAMING ZINE “WAKE UP, HERO!” COMING SOON! 

Cough. Sorry.

Medal of Honor: Frontline came out roughly around the same time Allied Assault was released on the PC. While not exactly the console version of the game, they do share many similarities.

“Back in my day, dual analogs were an emerging technology.”

Among the similarities is the D-Day stage, which follows Allied Assault’s almost exactly. This might have been slightly pre “bored with D-Day maps” era, but the same level in two games that came out within a year of each other is still a bit much.

In Frontline, you are on the - gasp - frontlines with Lt. Jimmy Patterson, who I’m pretty confident is actually Rambo’s dad since he has single-handily destroyed most of the German war plans by himself by now.

Frontline follows in the foot steps of Allied Assault by making things a bit more cinematic, but doesn’t act as much like the movie version of Saving Private Ryan. 

Deine mutter!

All they wanted to do was cosplay as Stay Puft and you killed them! You killed them!

Dr. Horrible! No!

Objectives are pretty bland and basic until the last act, and it is a shame the interactivity of the last few levels didn’t exist over the course of the entire game. 

I still don’t understand why they didn’t just get Gwaihir to fly Lt. Patterson there.

I don’t know if the World War II scenario was a good idea for Roller Coaster Tycoon.

When all is said and done, Medal of Honor: Frontline just suffers too much from its sameness with the previous top tier games in the series. While the technical issues are cleaned up, the controls are still suffering from growing pains which hurts a little. It also falls into a bit of a rut level design wise that it doesn’t crawl back out of until near the end of the game. It has a good beginning and a good end but those parts in the middle can get a bit drab.

Still, it is a good shooter, and a solid step forward in the console shooter department. And in 2002 we were still a year or two away from being completely bored with World War II shooters!

As opposed to now, where we are excruciatingly bored with all war shooters.