Fallen Coast Guardsman to be Honored

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard will hold a memorial service Friday in Chincoteague, Va., for the first Coast Guardsman killed in action since the Vietnam War.

U.S. Coast Guard Damage Controlman 3rd Class Nathan B. Bruckenthal, 24, from Smithtown, N.Y., died from injuries sustained when a small boat exploded as he and six other coalition sailors attempted to board it near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal April 24, 2004.

Two Coast Guardsmen and five Navy sailors aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat were preparing to board a dhow that had approached the terminal when the explosion occurred. Two U.S. Navy sailors were also killed during the incident and three were wounded.

The Coast Guard is a military service, and although Bruckenthal is the first combat-related death since the Vietnam War, Coast Guard men and women have fought side-by-side with the other military services in every armed conflict since 1790.

Members of the media are invited to attend the memorial ceremony. Bruckenthal’s father, Ric, will also attend.

Interested parties should arrive at Coast Guard Sector Field Office Eastern shore no later than 10:30 a.m. Friday. SFO Eastern shore is located at 3823 Main Street in Chincoteague.

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