The 2003 invasion of Iraq began 10 years ago this week, and although the war is officially over, the toll it took on the area endures.
In honor of the anniversary, Patch remembers Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan B. Bruckenthal, a Smithtown native who died in the line of duty on April 24, 2004, in an attack by suicide bombers on the Persian Gulf pumping station he was stationed at. Bruckenthal was 24 years old, and was the first casualty in the U.S. Coast Guard since the Vietnam War. According to published reports, Bruckenthal also lived in Hawaii, Connecticut and Virginia, and his father was a police chief in Northport.
By one count, the Iraq war is directly responsible for 189,000 deaths, not including those who died from hardship caused by the fighting.
CNN has a stunning map of all casualties in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
In all, 4,802 Americans and allies have died in the war, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, including 191 New Yorkers.
If you would like to honor any memories you may have of Bruckenthal, or thank him or his family for their sacrifice, please do so in the comment stream below.