NY Coast Guardsman's sacrifice continues to be honored - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal

NY Coast Guardsman's sacrifice continues to be honored

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Each day he goes to work, Police Chief Ric Bruckenthal of the Northport, Long Island, Police Department walks by a memorial that honors a fallen Coast Guard veteran: his son, Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, served two tours during the Iraq War as a proud member of the United States Coast Guard.

On April 24, 2004, Bruckenthal and two members of his special ops team lost their lives during a terrorist suicide bombing just off the Iraqi coast. That day, he became the first U.S. Coast Guardsman killed in combat since the Vietnam War. Nate was only 24.

His parents say they are so proud of him for what he did.

Gratitude from the country he loved and served continues to be shown. The Coast Guard has announced it is naming a fast response cutter in Bruckenthal's honor. Closer to home, the Coast Guard barracks in Montauk now bear his name. And at Station Eaton's Neck, so does the dog mascot, who is affectionately named Nate.

But perhaps Bruckenthal's greatest legacy is the daughter born after he died. She has been taken on trips to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to learn more about the father so many are proud of.

"I think it's really the sense of service that he had and his commitment to serving communities that he was involved in and then ultimately serving his country," said Pat Bruckenthal, Nate's stepmother.

"And making the ultimate sacrifice for his country," Ric Bruckenthal added.

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