Nathan Bruckenthal

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Nathan B. Bruckenthal
Nathan Bruckenthal.png
Nickname(s) "Nate"
Born (1979-07-17)July 17, 1979
Stony Brook, New York, U.S.
Died April 24, 2004(2004-04-24) (aged 24)
Near Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, Northern Persian Gulf
Buried at Section 60, Site 7978, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.[1]
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Coast Guard
Years of service January 1999 – April 2004
Rank CG-PO3.PNG Damage Controlman Third Class
Unit TACLET South, LEDET 403, assigned to the USS Firebolt
Battles/wars

Iraq War

Awards Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart
USCG Combat Action Ribbon.png Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal
AFEMRib.svg Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Spouse(s) Pattie Bruckenthal (wife)[2]
Relations Ric Bruckenthal (father)[3]
Laurie Bullock (mother)[3]
Harper Natalie Bruckenthal (daughter)[1]

Nathan B. "Nate" Bruckenthal (July 17, 1979 – April 24, 2004) was a United States Coast Guardsman who was killed in the Iraq War, becoming the first to die in wartime action since the Vietnam War. Bruckenthal and two U.S. Navy sailors were killed while intercepting a waterborne suicide attack on an offshore oil terminal off the coast of Iraq in the northern Persian Gulf in 2004.

Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Purple Heart for his actions.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Bruckenthal was born in Stony Brook, New York, the son of Ric Bruckenthal of Northport, New York, and Laurie Bullock of Ashburn, Virginia.[3]

While growing up he had also lived in Hawaii, Virginia, and Connecticut. Bruckenthal and his family lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut from 1992 to 1995, where he was a volunteer firefighter from 1997 to 1998.[3]

Bruckenthal intended to follow his tenure in the U.S. Coast Guard by subsequently going to college and becoming a policeman or a fireman.[5]

Career[edit]

United States Coast Guard[edit]

Bruckenthal and Petty Officer Third Class Joseph T. Ruggiero.

Bruckenthal joined the U.S. Coast Guard on January 5, 1999.[1] He served on USCGC Point Wells, based out of Montauk, New York, prior to attending Damage Controlman "A" School.[5] After his schooling, he was assigned to Station Neah Bay in the northwest corner of Washington on the Makah Indian Reservation.[3]

His next assignment was to Tactical Law Enforcement (TACLET) Team South, at Coast Guard Air Station Miami. Bruckenthal's first tour to the Persian Gulf region was from April to June 2003. He departed home for his second deployment in February 2004 and was due to return that June. During both tours his detachment, LEDET 403, was assigned to the USS Firebolt.[5][4]

On his first deployment to the Persian Gulf region, Bruckenthal was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.[1]

Attack in the Persian Gulf[edit]

Boonie hats inscribed with messages of consolation are displayed during a memorial service to Bruckenthal, Christopher E. Watts, and Michael J. Pernaselli in April 2004.
Pallbearers carry Bruckenthal's casket during his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in May 2004.

On April 24, 2004, Bruckenthal and two U.S. Navy sailors were killed while intercepting a waterborne suicide attack on the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal off the coast of Iraq in the northern Persian Gulf.[4]

An account of the attack was included the May 2004 issue of U.S. Coast Guard Reservist magazine:[6]

Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi of al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack.[7]

Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Purple Heart, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.[1] He was buried at Section 60, Site 7978 of Arlington National Cemetery on May 7, 2004, where he is currently interred.[1]

Awards and decorations[edit]

V
1st Row
Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device
2nd Row
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
3rd Row
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Personal life[edit]

In 2001, Bruckenthal met his future wife, Pattie, while serving at U.S. Coast Guard Station Neah Bay. Pattie was a university student studying the Makah Indian tribe when Bruckenthal gave the students a tour of the station.[1] Bruckenthal is survived by his wife, Pattie, and his daughter, Harper Natalie Bruckenthal, who was born after his death.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Bruckenthal is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[1] He is the first U.S. Coast Guardsman to be killed in action in military conflict since the Vietnam War.[1] Bruckenthal's death is noted in an article listing Jewish U.S. service members killed in Iraq.[8]

The Unaccompanied Personnel Housing building at Coast Guard Station Montauk is named in honor of Bruckenthal.[1] He served as a fireman on the USCGC Point Wells, which was homeported in Montauk, New York.[5]

On April 24, 2014, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert Papp, announced that a Sentinel-class cutter would be named after Bruckenthal.[9]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Nathan Bruckenthal: Petty Officer Third Class, United States Coast Guard". Arlington National Cemetery Website: Where Valor Proudly Sleeps. Michael Robert Patterson. July 8, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Pattie Bruckenthal". Coast Guard Foundation. Stonington, Connecticut. 
  3. ^ a b c d e O'Donnell, Michelle (May 8, 2004). "Long Island Native, Killed in Iraq, Is Buried in Arlington". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b c "Nathan Bruckenthal", Our Military Heroes, U.S. Department of Defense
  5. ^ a b c d PAC Peter Capelotti, USCGR (April 25, 2003). "Operation Iraqi Freedom Documentation Project / U.S. Coast Guard Oral History Program". U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  6. ^ Silverstein, Judy L., "A Coast Guard Hero is Laid to Rest...", U.S. Coast Guard Reservist Magazine, U.S. Coast Guard
  7. ^ NBC News (April 26, 2004). "Jordanian claims suicide attacks on Iraqi terminal: Statement issued in al-Zarqawi’s name". MSNBC News. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved April 28, 2004. 
  8. ^ Bloom, Nate (June 4, 2004). "More Tears by the Rivers of Babylon". JWR: Light of a Life. Jewish World Review. Retrieved June 4, 2004. 
  9. ^ Lagan, Christopher, "Coast Guard to name cutter for DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal", Coast Guard Compass: Official Blog of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard
References cited

External links[edit]