I was privileged to receive and listen to this 2-disc set of the stories of the Studies & Observation Group’s Medal of Honor recipients as excellently narrated by former One-Zero of Recon Team Cobra, Keith L. McKim.
It is an excellent and concise history of the unit, by the incredible numbers, as well as an individual detailing of the actions of the men of SOG who were recognized by the award of our nation’s highest military medal for valor. Keith begins his narration with a description of SOG, the unit and its mission, then does a masterful job of demonstrating why this unit, among all that served in Vietnam, was so highly decorated (even though decorations were uncommon because of the secret nature of the missions) and so vehemently hated by our enemy. That such a small unit could cause an entire enemy army to devote such large numbers of men to search out and destroy (or attempt to destroy) the teams, was unheard of and the likes of which will never be seen again. Keith gives the listener the facts – and the facts begin to show just “why” SOG was so very special.
After his first chapter history of the unit, he begins the stories of these men with the incredible story of Tango-Mike-Mike, Roy P. Benavidez. He devotes the balance of the CD-ROM to the stories of the other recipients, each narrated with decorum and excellent voice inflection. It is obvious that Keith has put his own experiences in the inflection of his voice and the emotions that come with listening (and reflecting, for those who have experienced close combat) to these men’s histories - all which constitute the history of this exemplary unit of the bravest of the brave.
Readers of books may have read of some of these men and their medal missions, but to listen to these same events as narrated by Keith causes the “pause” button on your CD player to be used more than once (at least I had to use mine). It has an emotional impact that is lacking on the written page.
I highly recommend this CD and can tell you that with the forces of historical “reinvention” working overtime, we all need to make sure that these stories are not only remembered, but told and re-told to our young so that these men and SOG will never be forgotten.SOA President Emeritus Ray Calafell,