“We Build, We Fight” is the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees.” Petty Officer 2nd Class Cristian Benton, whose parents, Larry and Michaelle Benton, live in Fredericksburg, builds and fights around the world as a member of Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Miss.
As a Navy equipment operator, Benton is responsible for operating heavy equipment, driving trucks and serving as a gunner on top of up-armored vehicles.
For more than 75 years, the Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world. They aid following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their career, Benton is most proud of saving another person’s life in 2017.
“A fellow Seabee and I witnessed a vehicle crash into a small body of water, so I grabbed a battery, busted out the window and pulled the driver to safety,” said Benton.
As a member of one of the Navy’s most relied upon assets, Benton and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.