DALLAS – An upcoming video game lets players re-enact the Swift boat mission in Vietnam that won Sen. John Kerry (search) a Silver Star award for battlefield heroism.
The first-person shooter "Kuma War" uses a ripped-from-the-headlines approach where gamers can download and then relive actual battles, mainly from the current war in Iraq.
Beginning Sept. 30, the "John Kerry" mission will be available for download as an add-on pack for the game, made by New York-based Kuma Reality Games (search).
The Kerry mission is based on the Navy's records of the encounter on Feb. 28, 1969.
Playing as Lt. John Kerry, you lead three Swift boats into enemy fire on the banks of the Mekong Delta (search). Don't try to turn around and flee — the game is scripted, so you have no choice but to attack the enemy before they kill you.
Kerry is unaware of the game and had no comment, spokeswoman Allison Dobson told The Associated Press. She said Kerry doesn't play video games.
The Silver Star was awarded for Kerry's actions in pursuit of enemy forces while commander of Swift boat unit PCF-94.
Some veterans have challenged the Democratic presidential candidate's version of the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the award, as well as his three Purple Heart medals.
"The level of rancor has been such that few of us know what is supposed to have occurred in anyone's version of the story," Kuma Reality chief executive Keith Harper said. "Kuma Games is in a unique position to bring clarity to ordinary people's understanding of Swift boats, of the men who served in them, and of the events in question by letting you, as Lt. John Kerry, join Swift boat PCF-94 during these important events."
Last week, Navy inspector general Vice Adm. R.A. Route concluded in a memo that procedures were followed properly in the approval of Kerry's awards.
Other recent "Kuma War" missions include "Battle in Sadr City," which creator Kuma Reality Games says is based on an actual U.S. Army operation that occurred May 23, 2004.