The Coast Guard commissioned the 28th Fast Response Cutter into the fleet at a ceremony in Portsmouth, Virginia on July 25. Coast Guard Foundation board member Bob Montgomery presented a $5,000 check to Commanding Officer LT Bryan Kilcoin for the crew to begin their morale and wellness fund.
The cutter is named after Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, who was mortally wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom when he thwarted a multi-vessel suicide attack on an oil terminal in the Arabian Gulf in 2004. For his courageous actions, Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
The Foundation’s Fallen Heroes Fund was established following Bruckenthal’s passing with his widow, Patti, being the first recipient of the Fallen Heroes Scholarship - which covers 100 percent of higher education expenses. With the help of this scholarship, she was able to finish her degree in nursing, a career that was inspired by her late-husband’s life.
From the U.S. Coast Guard Heroes:
“Nathan Brandt Bruckenthal was born on July 17, 1979, in Stony Brook, New York. He graduated from Herndon High School in Ashburn, Virginia, and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard on Jan. 5, 1999.
“He was later assigned to Tactical Law Enforcement Detachment South, LEDET 403, at Coast Guard Air Station Miami, Florida, and deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“On April 24, 2004, while serving as part of Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia aboard USS Firebolt, Petty Officer 3rd Class Bruckenthal, a damage controlman, and two U. S. Navy sailors were killed in the line of duty while conducting maritime intercept operations in the North Arabian Gulf.
“Bruckenthal and six other coalition sailors attempted to board a small boat near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal. As they boarded the boat, it exploded. Bruckenthal later died from the wounds he sustained in the explosion.
“Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guard member killed in action since the Vietnam War.”