In memory of Nate

Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal was on a security mission April 24, 2004, when suicide bombers initiated a waterborne assault near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal. He was severely wounded and later died from his injuries. In honor of his service, his shipmates at Station Eatons Neck held a memorial for him as the tenth anniversary of his sacrifice nears.

Steve Alberti and Lee Dash, two members from the Coast Guard Auxiliary band, performed ceremonial hymns that echoed through the air as family members took their seats. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Steve Alberti and Lee Dash, two members from the Coast Guard Auxiliary band, performed ceremonial hymns that echoed through the air as family members took their seats. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Two members from the Coast Guard Auxiliary band performed ceremonial hymns that echoed through the air as family members took their seats and members of the Coast Guard filed in rows encircling the wooden podium. Against it rested a framed photo of late Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, looking back at those in attendance at the ceremony.

“It is my distinct privilege to be here today to remember and honor your son,” said Capt. Ed Cubanski, commander of Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “Coast Guard Petty Officer Nathan B. Bruckenthal bravely lost his life while serving our great county on April 24, 2004, at the too young age of 24-years-old.”

As the anniversary of his death approaches, members from Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., conducted colors during a ceremony, two junior members read aloud Bruckenthal’s biography and distinguished guests, including Bruckenthal’s father, reflected on his life to honor the late petty officer, who was killed in action while on patrol at the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal off the coast of Iraq.

“Every year we gather here in celebration of his life and to honor Nate,” said Eric “Ric” Bruckenthal, father of the late Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal. “The members here have become somewhat of a family to us as we reflect on Nate’s legacy and his service to the Coast Guard.”

During the ceremony, the commanding officer of Station Eatons Neck introduced distinguished guests, including Rep. Steve Israel of New York and Rear Adm. Joseph Vojvodich, former commander of Sector Long Island Sound. Each spoke about Bruckenthal’s heroic actions while stationed overseas and his selfless service to the Coast Guard.

“Being this is my first year conducting this ceremony and that it is the 10th anniversary, it means a lot to be able to continue the tradition for his family and to help honor the memory of Nate,” said Chief Warrant Officer Mark Stauffer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck.

Members of Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., bow their heads during the memorial ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Members of Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., bow their heads during the memorial ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., performs a wreath laying. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., performs a wreath laying. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Seaman Katie OBrien and Seaman Brianna Gagnon, the two junior most members of Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., read the biography of Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Seaman Katie OBrien and Seaman Brianna Gagnon, the two junior most members of Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., read the biography of Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Chief Warrant Officer Mark Stauffer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, concludes the ceremony honoring Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

Chief Warrant Officer Mark Stauffer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, concludes the ceremony honoring Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Frank Iannazzo-Simmons.

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