One of the greatest things about running a Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, NJ is the people you get to meet. This weekend I had the pleasure and honor of serving the Bruckenthal family. As most of you know Cape May, NJ is home of the Coast Gaurd Training base. Their son Petty Officer First Class Nathan B. Bruckenthal joined the Coast Guard on January 5th 1999. He served on the USCGC Point Wells, base out of Montauk, New York, prior to attending Damage Controlman “A” School. After school he was assigned to Coast Guard Station Neah Bay, in the Northwest corner of Washington, on the Makah Indian Reservation. His next assignment was at the Coast Guard Air Station in Miami, Florida with the Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) South. Nate’s first tour to the Persian Gulf region was from April to June, 2003. His second deployment was in February, 2004 and he was scheduled to return that June. During both tours, his detachment, LEDET 403, was assigned to the USS Firebolt.
In 2004, Bruckenthal and two US Navy sailors, PO1 Michael J. Pernaselli of Monroe, NY and PO2 Christopher E. Watts . of Knoxville, TN were killed while intercepting a waterborne suicide attack on the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, off the coast of Iraq, in the Northern Persian Gulf.
For his sacrifice, Nathan Bruckenthal was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Gobal War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
His father and step-mother along with other friends and relatives were in town for a special Dedication Ceremony of Bruckenthal Hall and Monument Unveiling preformed at the US Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, NJ. I had the proud honor of meeting some of his fellow servicemen that were with him that day. It is people like this that make me proud to be an American. It is people like this that make what I do every day worth it. I am truly honored to have served his family even though only for a couple of days. I have been touched by people who have paid a huge price for our freedom. It is a reminder for me how no one should take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy in this great nation of ours. May God bless America and this family who have touched my life in a special way. Thank you!