The door gunner, Specialist 4 Michael Craigs, had been shot several times and fell into Benavidez’s arms. “Oh my god, my mother and father,” were the 19-year-old’s last words.
As Benavidez comforted the distressed pilot, he asked him who was out there.
“It’s that black feller who’s on your team,” said the pilot, referring to Wright.
Without time to go get his rifle, Benavidez boarded a different returning helicopter armed only with his knife and a medical bag — he knew there would be weapons on the ground to use once he got there. All the knowledge he had accrued throughout his rough life and challenging military career kicked in. He descended into the pits of hell for six hours.