Greg Benton is an American Indian and above all he wanted to do his part for his country. He has a pin in his leg as a
result of a car accident while delivering newspapers as a boy. Because of the pin, Greg had to fight to get into the
Marine Corps and had a difficult time in Boot camp because of it. But he badly wanted to become a Marine.
When Pfc Benton went to Vietnam, he was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines in Vietnam. Like other
soldiers in Vietnam, Benton was overwhelmed by the death of his comrades. In a letter home he wrote"Death
is slowly catching up with me, and I cannot avoid it much longer. I dislike having my life end in this hole, but there is
little I can do to prevent it. Though my body may be weak and soft, my spirit is strong and bold".
On May 23, 1969, Benton was part of a security force evacuating casualties at Quang Tri when his helicopter
landing zone was overrun. A fire fight ensued, and when it was over, search efforts were conducted of the area. All
personnel were accounted for except for Benton. No trace was found. It was not known whether he had been injured,
captured, or killed. Benton was classified Missing in Action.
When U.S. involvement in the war ended in 1975, thousands of refugees fled Vietnam to escape the communist regime,
bringing with them stories of Americans still in their country. Since then, over 10,000 such reports have accumulated
in U.S. agency files. Many experts, after reviewing the information, believe hundreds may still be alive today, still
It is not known if Benton survived the attack on the landing zone on May 23, 1969 or if he is one of those said to be
still alive. If he is still alive, he surley remembers and has lived by the Marine Corps slogan, "Semper
Fidelis". He knows the importance his fellow Marines placed on recovering even the dead from the battlefield.
If he is alive, he must wonder why his country has broken faith with him, and why he has been abandoned.