By Mark Carpenter
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (HawaiiNewsNow) - Forty-five years after enduring a deadly and horrific battle in Vietnam, members of the 27th Infantry Regiment were recognized for their heroic efforts.
The regiment was presented with the Presidential Unit Citation from Sen. Daniel Inouye's office by the Executive Assistant for Military Affairs, Col. (ret) Walt Kaneakua.
Friday's ceremony at Schofield Barracks wrapped up a long process in which members of the regiment tried to receive recognition for the July 1966 battle at Vietnam's Ho Bo Woods.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Howard Lavy was among the group of veterans who spearheaded the campaign to receive the Presidential Unit Citation, which is only given to units that display gallantry and determination under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions.
"We are finally able to recognize the valor and gallantry of the unit and that's what it's all about. It's not me or anybody else, it's the unit and we all fought together," said Lavy, who was the commanding officer during the 1966 battle that saw many American casualties. "Many of us died together, wounded together, banded together and were able to endure."
On July 19, 1966, the unit held off repeated enemy attacks despite being greatly outnumbered and low on ammunition.
Former PFC. Mike Moschkin was one of nine regiment members in attendance at Friday's ceremony.
"This battle has been with me every day for the last 45 and this is just the final touching on it that's all. It's a day that's always with me," said Moschkin, who lost five of his friends in the Vietnam battle.
"It's etched into my soul. I remember it all the time," Moschkin said.