This blog entry comes from a recruit who attended the building dedication aboard Training Center Cape May for Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, who died during combat operations off the coast of Iraq. The ceremony was held today, the 13th anniversary of Bruckenthal’s graduation from basic training. Seaman Recruit Johnson was tasked with holding Bruckenthal’s company flag. Johnson’s company was also in attendance to the ceremony and they recited The Coast Guard Ethos. This is his story from that day.
As I grow up I am beginning to learn more about what it takes to be a service dog. A good service dog has to be healthy, happy, confident and steady. Oh, and did I say smart? All of these traits are also traits many Coast Guardsmen have. Just as in their training, I am provided all sorts of experiences so I can be prepared. I’d like to think I am “always ready” just like they are!
As a young pup I was told a lot about becoming a service dog, even though I really did not know what it all meant. I just figured I would understand someday. For now, I was busy having fun learning about all the new things in my life but my handler thought it was time for me to learn a little more about my namesake, Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan “Nate” Bruckenthal. Since I can’t read, my handler thought it was best for me to visit Arlington National Cemetery to introduce me to Nate.