GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of Seabees got the chance to go back in time Tuesday and see a battle that helped shape the outcome of the Vietnam War. It was a reenactment of the Battle of Dong Xoai and was created to honor the only Seabee to win the Medal of Honor, Marvin Shields.
It's a trip back to the Vietnam War. The year is 1965, and it's the Battle of Dong Xoai.
"It's a big honor being able to come out here and taking part in something that resembles our history," said Seabee Jacob Minor.
Using real guns but blank ammunition. Seabees reenacted the battle with sailors portraying both sides to show the heroic last moments of the only Seabee to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
"He was injured many times on the battlefield, going to save his comrades even when he didn't have to," said Seabee Patrick Garrett.
Garret, who portrayed Shields during the reenactment, said the selfless patriotism of the hero gave him the strength to carry on.
"This ceremony was only 15 minutes. The original battle was over four hours. I know I'm tired now, but to think about how he was back then, that's what got me through it," said Garrett.
It wasn't hard to see that most of the crowd was inspired.
"The emotional feeling that people feel in the military when they see something like this reenacted is kind of like watching a war movie when you start crying, but it gives you that same sense of pride that you would get," said Minor.
It's a feeling they'll never forget.