Seabees Remember Fallen Hero

Gulfport Seabees stood at attention on the parade field Monday to honor a fallen friend.

Doyle "Wayne" Bollinger was killed in Iraq on June 6th. Monday afternoon his mother received her son's Naval Commendation Medal.

His fellow Seabees understand it could easily have been one of them.

Seabees took the time to recognize and remember their friend. The troops standing on the parade field made it safely home from Iraq. But one of their own, did not.

Mark Handley is commander of the 22nd Naval Construction Regiment.

"He served alongside all of you in Operation Iraqi Freedom. And his commitment was unwavering," he said.

Wayne Bollinger's mother came from Oklahoma to receive the Naval Commendation Medal for her son. The third class builder was killed near al-Kut, Iraq when a piece of ordinance accidentally exploded in his work area.

"We acknowledge the courage he held in defending our nation when we needed him most. Most importantly, we honor and acknowledge his commitment to each and every one of us," said Handley.

The Naval Commendation Medal is awarded for upholding the highest tradition of naval service.

"His endless concern for his fellow Seabees and his constant drive to improve the morale and spirit of all he came in contact with," said the announcer, as Bollinger's mother received the medal.

"He just had a good personality. He enjoyed being around people. He just, I always called him "arms and legs" because he was so tall and skinny. But he was always willing to help and always willing to be there for people," said Wyvonne Bollinger.

He was there for his fellow troops. And they let his mother know just how much they appreciate his sacrifice.

"He'll have a special place in all of our hearts," said Commander Handley.

Doyle Bollinger was the first Seabee killed in a combat zone since the Vietnam War.