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POSTED May 27, 2011 2:13 a.m.

Nathan B. Bruckenthal

July 17, 1979 – April 24, 2004

The 10th panel of the Traveling Tribute to those who have fallen in the Global War on Terror while serving America will be dedicated Sunday, May 29, at 3 p.m. at Woodward Park during the Memorial Day Commemoration ceremonies.

The image on the panel is that of Nathan B. Bruckenthal who lost his life while serving his country.  He was 24 years old when he became the first Coast Guard member since the Vietnam War to lose his life in combat while serving America.

Because of his unique skills and abilities he was chosen to be among the first Coast Guardsmen deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in early 2003.  While there he received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and a Combat Action Ribbon for action in and around the port of Um Qasar.

In March 2004, at the request of his command staff, he volunteered for a second deployment to Iraq.  Only weeks after discovering that his wife was carrying his unborn child, Nathan Bruckenthal and two U.S. Navy sailors were killed when a suicide bomber attacked their rigid hull inflatable boat.  Nathan had been chosen to become a part of the Taclet’s training unit and his job that afternoon was to instruct navy personnel how to conduct maritime interdiction operations.  The team observed a suspicious vessel, which did not heed their commands.  The team intercepted the vessel.  This selfless act of courage protected the crew aboard the U.S.S. Firebolt, the off-shore oil platform and the oil terminal itself at Khawr Al Amaya, in the northern Arabian Gulf.   For this action, Nathan was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with oak leaf, and his second Combat Action Ribbon.

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