Camp Mabry honors soldiers and first responders through real-life reenactments

It was a team effort between Texas Military Forces and first responders in the state.

The message was simple, that's to remember our country's past military efforts, and thank those who serve every day.

Shots were fired in front of a large crowd, all eager to see a World War II battle unfold right before their very eyes.

"It's a hard job because you're trying to recreate history and make it as accurate as possible," said Chad Sloan, actor.

But recreating history has its challenges. Francis Mayville was among the crowd who came to the Texas Military Forces Open House. He served in the Army right after World War II.

"My first sergeant that I had in the Army was the first paratrooper to get the Medal of Honor in the Second World War," said Mayville.

Although the reenactments featured several sights and sounds from the World War II battles, veterans say it will never reflect the true sacrifices made.

"I think it's a great thing. I think it's a great thing to do to show our young people what the previous soldiers went through," said Mayville.

"It was more intense. This is just a show battle, what they dealt with is life and death, it's beyond what we can put on this battlefield," said Sloan.

"I saw what the veterans went through and I saw that it was pretty tough and no wonder why so many men didn't come back because it was hard," said Jeremiah Rodriguez, attendee.

The reenactment was among many learning activities and demonstrations at the camp. Organizers say a lot of time goes into planning the event.

"Many, many hours go into planning this. We start actually planning for next year's event in about a month," said Joanne MacGregor, Public Affairs Officer.

With Memorial Day right around the corner, Camp Mabry is giving it an early start, honoring those who give or have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives.

The planned air show was canceled due to weather.

This event is only held once a year and admission was free.