Friday was scratchy wool, hot sunlight and heartfelt tears.

I went to the funeral of a man I've never met. I've never met him but he's by brother. Damage Controlman Third Class, Nathan Bruckenthal was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery on Friday, May 7th, 2004 at 11:15am. In attendance were his family, representatives of the US Border Patrol, New York State Police officers, firefighters and EMTs from his hometown and over 400 members of the United States Coast Guard.

I met shipmates from the past that knew him. They wiped the tears from their eyes to greet me. I saw his wife and family wearing faces of sadness that won't leave them for years.

Semper Paratus, DC3 Bruckenthal. We shall forever work to honor your memory.