JIG Yarzheit Memorial for Global War on Terror

UPDATE: The list has been sorted alphabetically, broken out by rank, service branch, and basic home of record (if known).

UPDATE 2: You can now click on any of the names for links to articles about each of the fallen.

I think it’s appropriate to remember our Jewish service members who have given all in the Global War on Terror. If I missed any names, I do apologize.

For families of the deceased: Ha’makom yenahem etkhem betokh she’ar avelei Tziyon vi’Yerushalayim.

Agami, Daniel – Specialist, Army, Florida

Allen, Howard Paul – Sergeant, Army National Guard, Arizona

Ben Yahudah, Benyahmin – Specialist, Army, Georgia

Bernstein, David – 1st Lieutenant, Army, Pennsylvania

Bitton, Albert – Corporal, Army, Chicago

Blum, Aron C. – Sergeant, Marine Corps, Arizona

Brodsky, Michael J.  – Petty Officer 2nd Class, Navy, Tamarac, Florida

Bruckenthal, Nathan – Petty Officer 3rd Class, Coast Guard, New York

Budeysky, Steven M. – Sergeant, Army, Chicago

Clark, Ryan J. – Corporal Army, California

Cohen, Michael R. – Corporal, Marine Corps, Pennsylvania

Dvorin, Seth – 2nd Lieutenant, Army, New Jersey

Engel, Mark E. – Lance Corporal, Marine Corps, Colorado

Evnin, Mark A. – Corporal, Marine Corps, Vermont.

Fairbairn, Aaron – Private First Class, Army, Washington

Farkas, Daniel – 1st Lieutenant, Army National Guard, New York

Fisher, Zachary, M. – Sergeant, Army,  Missouri

Fletcher, Jacob S. – Private First Class, Army, New York

Freeman, Daniel J. – Specialist, Army, Cincinatti, Ohio

Green, Douglas J. – Specialist, Army, Sterling, Virginia

Harrington, Foster – Sergeant, Marine Corps, Texas

Jacobson, Elizabeth N. – Airman First Class, Air Force, Florida

Kane, Jeremy – Lance Corporal, Marine Corps, Cherry Hill, NJ

Krissoff, Nathan M. – 1st Lieutenant, Marine Corps, Nevada

Malachowski, James M. – Staff Sergeant, Marine Corps, Westminster, MD

Mervis, Paul – Lieutenant, British Army, London

Noeth, Michael – Petty Officer 2nd Class, Navy, New York

Nuncio, Levi Efrain – Specialist, Army – Harrisonburg, Virginia

Oremus, Michael K.  – Private First Class, Army, New York

Paul, Robert, J. – Staff Sergeant, Army Reserve , Oregon

Pine, Shawn – Lieutenant Colonel, Army Reserve, Texas

Pontell, Darin – Lieutenant JG, Navy, Maryland

Rosenberg, Mark – Major, Army, Florida

Schrage, Dustin – Corporal, Marine Corps, Florida

Schulte, Roslyn – 1st Lieutenant, Air Force, St. Louis, MO

Schultz, Joseph W. – Captain, Army, Port Angeles, Washington

Secher, Robert Michael – Captain, Marine Corps, Tennessee

Seiden, Marc S. – Specialist, Army, New Jersey

Seidler, Matthew R. – Airman 1st Class, Baltimore, MD

Shackelford, Michael – Sergeant, Army, Denver, CO

Shapiro, Steven F. – Private First Class, Army, Hidden Valley Lake, CA

Sher, Gregory – Private, Australian Army, Melbourne

Sherman, Alan D. – Sergeant, Marine Corps, New Jersey

Silverman, Joshua B. – Chief Warrant Officer 2, Arizona

Sklaver, Benjamin – Captain, Army Reserve, Hamden, CT

Smith, Eric A. – Chief Warrant Officer, Army, New York

Soufrine, Eric D. – Private First Class, Army, Connecticut

Stern, Andrew K. – 1st Lieutenant, Marine Corps, Tennessee

Tarlavsky, Michael – Captain, Army, New Jersey

Walker, Morris L. – Private First Class, Army , North Carolina

Weiner, Timothy R. – Tech Sergeant, Air Force , Florida

Weinger, Robert M. – Sergeant, Army National Guard, Illinois

Wershow, Jeffery – Specialist, Army National Guard, Florida

Wolfe, Colin J. – Private First Class, Marine Corps, Virginia

Wolfer, Stuart A. – Major, Army, Florida

Wong, Elijah – Sergeant, Army National Guard, Arizona

Yelner, Jonathan – Senior Airman, Air Force, California

Zilberman, Steven M. – Lieutenant, Navy, Columbus, Ohio


  • The last time I checked there were three other NJ fatalities including Lt. Seth Dvorin (JWV Post 972 is named for him). Also there were 2 marine officers from Tenn.( one might be from Ky.).Also one of the first Marines killed in Iraq was Cpl. Ervan from Vt.

  • Malcolm Petrook

    Other Jewish service fatalities include Petty Officer Nathan Brickenthal, 1st Lieutenant David Bernstein and Marine Sargeant Foster Harrington

  • MGySgt Ted Isaacson USMC, Retired

    Brian, Thanks for mentioning our Jewish heroes. Please add the following heroes to your list:1stLt Andrew K. Stern, Marines, Tennessee;Cpl Mark A. Evnin, Marines,Vermont; Cpl Michael R. Cohen, Marines, Penn; LCpl Mark E. Engel, Marines, Colorado; Sgt Elijah Wong, Army, Arizona (Nat. Guard); Sgt Aron C. Blum, Marines, Arizona; PFC Jacob S. Fletcher, Army, New York; SPC Jeffery Wershow, Army, Florida (Nat. Guard); and please note that Sgt Alan Sherman was a Marine (not Army). Thanks again. All the Best, Ted

  • I think you mean Marine CPL Mark Evnin from vermont http://www.militarycity.com/iraq/1745963.html

  • MGySgt Ted Isaacson USMC, Retired

    One additional American Jewish heroe’s name who should be added:

    1stLt Nathan M. Krissoff, Marines, Nevada

    Thanks again, Ted

  • Daniel J. Freeman, US Army, Cincinatti (Cincinnati, by the way) was KIA in Afghanistan, not Iraq: http://www.wlwt.com/news/4368126/detail.html. I can still picture him in his uniform at his little brother’s bar mitzvah.

  • sadly there is another one to add. Major Stuart Wolfer.

  • Alan and Sheshe, Thanks for keeping us updated. This is very important. Questions will (and already do) come up on how many Jewish servicemen have paid the ultimate price. As a community we need to be able to provide an answer (as best we can) and most importantly to honor their memory. I recommend that JIG start a memorial/yerzeit page and that all of us participate in keeping it updated. Also, many thanks to Sgt Brian Kresge for bringing this issue up in the first place.

  • Also, sadly one more to add, we should not forget him: SPC Marc S. Seiden, US Army, of Brigantine, NJ – KIA in Baghdad, Jan 2004

  • Strange to think about Jews fighting and dying in the place that was once Babylon – the earthly location of the Garden of Eden, Abraham’s birthland, as well as our second exile and hence the place where the Babylonian Talmud was compiled.

  • I am saddened to add yet another name.

    Major MArk E Rosenberg.

    Very sad.

  • Malcolm Petrook

    I note in today’s NYTimes “names of the dead” included Major Mark Rosenberg of Miami Lakes, Fla. Fourth Infantry Division.

  • Per this sentence in the original post:

    Perhaps someday we can do better than a simple blog post.

    The National Museum of American Jewish Military History (under the Jewish War Veterans) in Washington D.C. is not well-known. I’ve been there, and I think that doing something in commemoration with the museum may be a possibility (especially as the museum is about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its congressional charter). Here’s the museum’s link: http://www.nmajmh.org/

  • JIG Administrator, When you have a chance please correct the first name at the top of the list (Capt Secher) – his first name is Robert. Thanks.

  • Please note: There is no serviceman with last name of Budeysky listed in any of the relevant national on-line data bases as being killed in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Can Mr. Schiller provide additional information on Sgt Budeysky? If so, the national data bases should be corrected/updated and appropriate honors should be given.

  • Paul Michael Felberg does not seem to be Jewish–his grave marker has a Christian cross (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=13367&GRid=9680945&amp😉

  • Here you go Samson he went to the same school as Corporal Albert Bitton here is the article


  • Young medic, from West Rogers Park, killed in Iraq

    Albert Bitton attended Ida Crown Academy


    For the second time in six years, the war in Iraq has claimed the life of a former student at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy.

    Albert Bitton, 20, who grew up in West Rogers Park, was killed in Baghdad on Feb. 20, when the Humvee he was in was hit by an improvised explosive device.

    Another Ida Crown student, Sgt. Steven Budeysky, was killed in action during the war’s early days.

  • STEVE18, Thanks for the assist but that’s not what I’m referring to. Example: If you punch in names any of the above listed heroes into Google or Yahoo search (i.e., Sgt Alan D. Sherman – 309,000 hits in Google) you will have thousands of hits showing where they are listed in National and local data-bases honoring KIAs from Iraq/Afghanistan and articles regarding their funeral services, etc. This is not the case for Sgt Budeysky although he is mentioned in some recent articles in relation to Cpl Bitton. If he was killed in Iraq/Afghanistan it appears, as an anomaly, that he was completely overlooked by the media. Thanks again, Samson

  • Senior Airman Jonathan Yelner of Lafayette volunteered to be sent to Afghanistan two months ago to help local residents build new roads and buildings and to set up water supplies.

    Yelner, 24, was killed Tuesday when a bomb exploded near his vehicle near Bagram, about 25 miles north of Kabul and the site of an air base where U.S. forces are stationed.

    Yelner, a six-year Air Force veteran, was a weapons loader who had been assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. He was serving with the 755th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Air Base as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, military officials said.

    Yelner volunteered for duty in Afghanistan to help locals rebuild and improve their infrastructure, his family said.

    “I’m very proud of him,” said his father, Bruce Yelner of El Cerrito. “He was performing one of the more nobler duties of the military in Afghanistan. He did a lot of good for the local Afghanis.”

    His mother, Yolanda Vega of Lafayette, broke down Wednesday as she said, “My sadness is that I will not see my son. He wanted to wear the uniform of the United States Air Force, and I supported him. He wanted to go to Afghanistan. He said, ‘Mom, we’re really making a difference.’ I supported him. I never knew he would be killed there.”

    Vega said, “However, I know he’s with God. I know he’s in heaven.”

    Yelner previously served in Guam, Diego Garcia – a military base on an atoll in the Indian Ocean – and, for four months last year, in Iraq, his father said. “I want you to tell the world he’s a great guy,” he said.

    Yelner was Jewish and Puerto Rican and was proud of his heritage. On his MySpace page, he proudly proclaimed himself a “Puerto Rican heartthrob.” At the top of the page is the statement: “Puerto Rican heartthrob is living each day like my last. Cause it might be.”

    Yelner – known to his friends as Jake and Vega, one of his middle names – described himself on MySpace as a blunt and honest person. “I say what is on my mind and the truth no matter what,” he wrote. “I live life like I want to so I am not one of those guys that says, ‘Damn I wish I did that.’ ”

    Retired Senior Airman David Scott, 23, of Rapid City, S.D., said of his friend’s bluntness, “There was a certain charm about it. It’s hard to explain, but it’s something he pulled off.”

    Yelner’s prized possession was a Ford Mustang that he recently purchased, his family said.

    Yelner was an Eagle Scout and played lacrosse while attending De La Salle High School in Concord, where flags flew at half-staff. He enjoyed swordplay and was just starting to get into martial arts, he said on his MySpace page. Friends said he also enjoyed role-playing games.

    “I am a simple guy with simple interests and a complicated brain,” he wrote.

    Aubrey Watts, 23, of Rapid City, S.D., said Yelner “had the biggest heart and the most beautiful soul of anyone I have known. Words can’t even begin to describe how generous he was.”

    Just four hours before she learned that he had died, Watts said she got two dozen roses from him. “It was my surprise after having surgery and for being, as he put it, the strongest woman he has ever known besides his mama. It is very much ironic to receive the flowers on the same day I find out, but in his own fashion that was him.”

    Watts said, “I can’t imagine him going out in a better way. He was a true warrior in every sense of the word.”

    Caitlyn Morrow, 22, a native of San Jose, said Yelner was one of the first people she met in South Dakota after moving there from Portland. “It was like having an instant family,” she said.

    Morrow said she would miss “his uncanny ability to make me smile while telling me the brutal truth. He would tell me the truth in such a way that you couldn’t help but smile, even if it hurt a little bit.”

    In a statement, Col. Scott Vander Hamm, 28th Bomb Wing commander, wrote: “My most sincere condolences go out to the family of our lost service member. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected and impacted by Airman Yelner’s death.”

    In a statement, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “Senior Airman Jonathan Yelner answered the call to defend the United States with bravery, integrity and a relentless devotion to the ideals and freedoms that we all hold dear.”

  • Harvey Schiller

    Cpl. Albert Bitton, alav hasholom, and Sgt. Steven Budeysky, alav hasholom, both were graduated from Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, Illinois. Ida Crown is a small (350 students) co-ed, orthodox Jewish high school. I have heard that many of the boys have made aliyah and joined the IDF (I know of at least three boys just from my own synagogue within the past year or two). I called Mr. Danny Harris, Assistant Principal, Ida Crown (773.973.1450), to get more info on Sgt. Budeysky. Mr. Harris said that Sgt. Budeysky was in “Special Forces’, and that Sgt. Budeysky’s Hebrew name was Baruch ben Mayer. Northwestern University reported that Steven Budeysky , class of 2001, died on May 19th, but the year was uncertain.

  • Go to yahoo and put in name you will find about Sgt Steven Budeysky in pdf version like this


    108k – Adobe PDF

    1. Official notices in this bulletin are orders of the command. … indebted to the late SGT Budeysky, Steven M., Alpha Company, 314 MI Battalion, Lackland AFB, …


  • Thanks, but the article about Sgt Budeysky that you’re referring to just states that he passed away, not that he was KIA in Iraq or Afghanistan. Not to take anything away from him, may his memory be a blessing, apparently he died on active duty, z”l. However, the specific place and circumstances of his death are not mentioned in that article, nor anywhere else on any web site or news article about him specifically, as is the case with everyone else on the list.

  • JIG Administrator: Can we add Senior Airman Jonathan Yelner, USAF, California to our list? Also, since he was killed in Afghanistan (and so was SPC Daniel J. Freeman) can we make this a list of KIAs from both Iraq and Afghanistan? (Currently the first sentence of the lead paragraph says Iraq.) Sgt Kresge, Thanks to you – Great job on getting us started on this!! This has become the unofficial memorial/yerziet page for the heroes of our community who have given their lives in the service of our country. May they never be forgotten.

  • Brian, First of all thanks for your quick response and action. I have a recommendation: for those who may fall into the category of Other/Unknown (i.e, Sgt Budeysky) – can we honor them by calling that category GWOT? As GWOT would be appropriate for ALL categories (other than OIF/OEF) as you stated, to include USA Garrison, Horn of Africa, etc. Brother, what you are doing here is extremely important – as once again, just as in wars of the past, the anti-semites are publicly (check the web!) blaring their hateful and blatant lies that the Jewish community is not doing it’s part on the front lines. Thanks again for your efforts, and all the other contributors to JIG, to tell the truth and set the record straight!

  • I have an offer. If anyone would like to write a well-expressed guest post for my blog http://www.mrslieutenant.blogspot.com about Jews serving in all wars of the United States, I would be open to this. You can contact me through my website http://www.mrslieutenant.com (which includes a listing for jewsingreen in the section on organizations that support military families). I would start the post something like “Perhaps because of what happened to Jews in the Holocaust, Americans today have a mistaken idea of the role American Jews have played and continue to play in our country’s armed forces.”

  • http://www.nmajmh.org/docs/jahm08/May%2026%20Memorial%20Day.pdf is a link to a “complete” list as of Memorial Day, 2008

  • I think LT. Daniel Farkas is Jewish


    NYPD Officer Dies in Afghanistan

    July 6, 2008

    A New York City police lieutenant serving as a National Guardsman has died in Afghanistan, police said Saturday. Lt. Daniel Farkas, 42, of Brooklyn, who joined the NYPD in 1988, was assigned to the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills, police said.

    The date and details of Farkas’ death were not available Saturday afternoon. A police spokesman said the military informed the department of Farkas’ death on Friday.

    A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Defense declined to comment Saturday, citing a policy of waiting 24 hours after family notification to release names of casualties.

    The New York National Guard did not return a call for comment, and family members at Farkas’ home declined to comment Saturday.

    YWN has no further information.

    (Source: Newsday / YW-11 / YW-112)

  • Rabbi (Col.) Goldstein has confirmed that Lt. Farkas is Jewish.

  • 1LT Jarred A Fishman

    From 9/11 I just learned about another Jewish hero fallen in the first two hours of the war-

    Lieutenant JG Darin Parnell, USN Intel

  • Thanks Jarred. You’re right – it’s important to remember Darin too. I believe his last name is spelled Pontell though, Full name LT Darin H. Pontell USN, he was killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. Darin was one of the very first casualties in the Global War on Terrorism. A Naval Academy Graduate, he was Jewish and he’s buried next to his brother (who was also a Naval Officer – killed in the line of duty on the USS Lexington in 1989) at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Cemetary. Darin was awarded the Purple Heart. Brian, maybe he can be added to our list as well since he was killed in GWOT in the line of duty.

    Thanks again Jarred, it’s good that you reminded us.

  • 1LT Jarred Fishman

    Thanks Sgt. Kresge- I would only ask that we make this a permanent part of our website- it is important that we memorialize our fallen heroes and it will serve as an everlasting tribute to their sacrifice.

    Thanks again.

  • Malcolm Petrook

    Today’s New York Times military deaths listed Scott Dimond of Franklin, New Hampshire. One of our tribe?

  • There was some discussion here questioning the death of Sgt. Steven M. Budeysky. I was his friend. We went to high school (Ida Crown) together. I’m still in touch with his family. Steven was on a classified assignment in Iraq when he was killed on May 19th, 2005. The exact circumstances of his death were never released by the Army because they are classified. He’s a hero and should be remembered as such.

  • Alex B.,

    Thank you for clarifying that issue. Sgt Budeysky is a hero and should be listed on our Yerzeit/Memorial list of heroes who have given their lives for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. May G-d bless him and and may he rest in peace. Thanks for taking the time to set the record straight. Respectfully, Samson

  • I’ve renamed the post and made some updates. Since this is a GWOT “memorial,” inclusion will be based off of eligibility for either the Global War on Terrorism Expiditionary or Service medals, as well as the Iraq or Afghanistan Campaign Medals, as applicable. This negates any need to debate inclusion.

  • Sgt Kresge, Thank you for making this Yerziet memorial for our community. This is an extremely important contribution both from an historical standpoint and a “living history” memorial (continually updated) to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in the Global War on Terrorism.

  • Steve, Thanks for letting us know about LtCol Pine, KIA in Afghanistan.

    Sgt Kresge, Please view the article in the link that Steve provided us. It points out that LtCol Shawn Pine, US Army Reserve, from Texas, was killed by an IED while in the same vehicle as Lt Roslyn Schulte. Although LtCol Pine was on temporary assignment as contractor, he was still an active reserve member of the US Army and died in the service of our country fighting in GWOT. I think he deserves the honor of being listed on our Yerzeit Memorial as such: Pine, Shawn – LtCol, Army Reserve, Texas. What do you think? Respectfully, Samson

  • U.K. soldier KIA in Afghanistan http://www.thejc.com/articles/jewish-serviceman-killed-afghanistan

    Jewish serviceman killed in Afghanistan

    Follow us on RSS

    From The Jewish Chronicle

    June 15, 2009

    Follow the JC on Twitter

    Lieutenant Paul Mervis was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, while on foot patrol with the British forces in northern Helmand.

    The 27-year-old Londoner was one of the first officers commissioned into 2nd Battalion The Rifles in 2007. The Ministry of Defence said “it was typical of the man that he led from the front in one of Afghanistan’s most demanding and dangerous districts”.

    His family said he was “a wonderful loving son, brother and friend, generous and thoughtful with an infectious sense of fun. Paul was killed doing the job he chose and loved.

    “He had read widely about Afghanistan and went with a genuine desire to help bring enough stability to enable reconstruction to follow.”

    Last updated: 5:00pm, June 15 2009

  • Malcolm Petrook

    Today’s NYTimes lists a Jeffrey Garber, USN, among the dead. Is he a member of our tribe?

  • Please add one more fallen hero…

    Aaron Fairbairn, US Army (not sure of the rank) killed in Afghanistan.


  • Malcolm Petrook

    Sadly, Jewish soldier, Pfc Aaron Fairbairn, was killed in Afghanistan on July 4. He was from Aberdeen, Washington.

  • Sgt Kresge,

    When you have time, please add Sgt Robert M. Weinger to our Yarzheit/Memorial Board:

    Weiner, Robert M. – Sergeant, Army National Guard, Illinois

    He was killed in Afghanistan on 15 March 2009 – awarded a Bronze Star and Purple heart. Previous to his tour in Afghanistan he served 2 years in Iraq. His funeral was conducted by Rabbi/Chaplain Ira Ehrenpreis and there is an article about him (with photo) on page 3 of the latest JWV “Jewish Veteran” magazine.

    May he rest in peace and be remembered always.

    Thanks, Samson

  • Just read that another American soldier of the Jewish faith was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan, on July 4th: 21 year old PFC Aaron Fairbairn, US Army, from Washington State.

  • Thanks everyone for the updates. I’ve been out of the loop for a month or two, my apologies.

    Has the JWV been talking about developing a permanent memorial in Washington, perhaps, to honor Jewish war dead in the GWOT (or whatever we are now calling it)? I was hoping to get to the convention this year to ask but it may not happen since I’m currently mobilized.

  • Malcolm Petrook


    Now that you’ve included a British officer in the Yahrzeit list, don’t forget the South Aftican-born Jewish soldier, Gregory Sher, who was killed on January 7, according to the JTA.

  • Malcolm Petrook

    Forgot to mention that South African-born Greg Sher was in the Australian army.

  • Thank you for including LT Mervis (2 RIFLES, UK) in this list. Paul is the first British Militarz Jewish Service Member to loose his life in conflict since the Falklands.

    He was buried 24 June at Aldershot Military Cemetary (Aldershot, Surrey, UK0 with ~ 400 in attendance at the grave side military service conducted by the Rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus of his childhood/family Synagogue.

    Besides his unit, family, friends, there was a significant turn out from both the British Military Jewish Community and the British Jewish War Veterans.

    Holly Doyne, COL, USA. US Military Liaison to HQ AMD, FASC, Camberley UK

  • I know he’s not a Global War on Terror casualty, but does anyone know if perhaps Scott Speicher was a MOT?

  • I saw a headstone for him it had a cross so i don’t think he was,never the less it could have been shown on T.V. for the purpose that in case he was alive it would appear that he’s not Jewish to the Iraqis,In any event may his memory be Blessed

  • Sgt Kresge, Please note that on the Yerzeit board, Sgt Robert Weinger’s name is spelled incorectly – it’s currently on the list as Weiner, but it’s actually spelled Weinger with a g. Thanks, SAMSON

  • Sgt Robert Weinger's Aunt

    To the woman that I talked to at the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run on June 20, 2009 – Thank you for putting Bobs name on this list and making sure that his name was spelled correctly!

    I just want to correct one thing, he only served in Iraq for one year. He was home less than a year and volunteered to go to Afghanistan.

    Also I would like to view the article in the JWV magazine, but when I went to JWV site couldn’t find it.

  • To Sgt Robert Weinger’s Aunt,

    The article on Sgt Weinger in the JWV magazine can be found as follows:

    1. Go to JWV.org web page

    2. Click on “communications” in the choices bar at the top of the page.

    3. Click on “The Jewish Veteran” (the name of their magazine).

    4. Click on their latest issue (Vol.62, No.3, Summer 2009).

    5. See the bottom left corner of page 3.

    I hope your grief at his loss will be consoled by knowing that he always be remembered.

    Regards, Samson

  • This is a possible Jewish KIA-Sgt. 1st Class David E. Metzger, 32, of San Diego:


  • A possible Jewish soldier:

    Spc. Ross E. Vogel, III, 27, of Red Lion, Pa., died Sept. 29 in Kut, Iraq, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 67th Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, Fort Gordon, Ga.


  • Sorry to add to the list- Lcpl Jeremy M Kane, Cherry Hill NJ KIA Afghanistant. Services were at Mkor Shalom in Cherry Hill.

  • Please add Lt. Steven M. Zilberman, a Navy Pilot from Columbus, Ohio. Killed on 31 March, when his E-2C Hawkeye crashed into the Arabian Gulf. May he rest in peace and his memory and the sacrifice made never be forgotten.

  • I’m sorry for these people! I wonder if they didn’t get disappointed in this war.

  • Malcolm Petrook


    Today’s NYTimes reported that a specialist named Kisseloff was killed in action.

  • Jeffrey D. Felder, Colonel, USAF, Retired

    The loss of Spc Kisseloff is sad news in any case, but based on reporting in St. Louis papers, I do not expect that he was Jewish.

  • SGT Kisseloff and his family are Catholic, which of course doesn’t diminish the loss of a fine Guardsman.

  • harvey schiller

    July 7, 2010

    Dear Sgt. Kresge,

    I stumbled across the name of a possible Jewish serviceman killed in Iraq in 2005.

    I do not believe that his name is listed

    on the list of Jewish war dead.

    Petty Officer 3rd Class

    John Daniel House

    killed January 26, 2005

    Ar Rutbah, Iraq

    Sgt. Kresge, I do not know if this Navy Medic hero was Jewish; however he is buried in a Jewish cemetery: Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Simi Valley, California.

    Perhaps you can confirm if Petty Officer House, alav hashlom, was Jewish, and if he was, place his name on the list of Jewish heros.

    I want to thank you for the selfless devotion you have given to remembering all our fallen children.

    Harvey Schiller

  • Thanks Harvey. I think he should be added to the list. I’ve read everything available about him on the internet. I think we can safely assume that he was Jewish for 2 reasons: 1. It’s extremely unusual for anyone to get buried in Jewish cemetery unless they are Jewish; 2. Of all that was written about him and about his memorial service, there is nothing that indicates that he is not Jewish. My sense is that he was Jewish and was buried at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park because he was Jewish and this is family’s traditional cemetery. I vote that we add him to the list.

  • Rabbi Avi Olitzky

    We are hoping to read a list of fallen Jewish personnel on Yom Kippur-from last year to this year. I notice the yahrzeit list above, which I check regularly, is listed alphabetically, without date of death. Is there a list of our fallen brethren from this past year alone (September – to September)?

    Thanks, and Gmar chatimah tovah.



  • joe bernstein

    HM2 Bruce Bryant Bernstein(no relation) was a Navy Corpsman killed in Vietnam in February of 1969.

    I was in Vietnam at the time.I saw his name in Stars and Stripes along with Thomas Patrick Noonan Jr.,a friend of mine from college whom I always admired as a great athlete(wrestler) and good hearted man-Tom was an Irish Catholic,but many years later I learned that Tom received the Medal of Honor posthumously for attempting to rescue Bruce Bernstein and two Marines whose names I don’t recall unfortunately.None of them survived.Bruce Bernstein was officially listed as “NRP”,meaning no religious preference like I was.Jews don’t get to define themselves.Larger society does that.

    My beef with the JWV is their parochial resistance to put their arms aorund our brothers and sisters of even minor Jewish descent.

    I have two darling grandaughters-one( the eldest)is Black,Jewish,Honduran.Puerto Rican,and Cherokee.The younger one is Irish,Jewish,Scottish,Alsatian,and Inuit(!!).

    Go figure.

    We were historically oppressed for a drop of Jewish blood.

    JWV-reconsider your approach to membership.

    My cousin Richard ,a mustang Marine officer,received the DSC for valor in Vietnam and can’t be a member of the JWV because he is a Protestant by religion-both his parents were observant Jew.He never tries to deny or hide that fact-his beliefs are his own,but he’s a Jew to the rest of the world nevertheless.

    I have cousins who are half Jewish and half Mohawk-“schmohawks”I call ’em and they crack up over that name.Sometimes we just have to kick back and have a good laugh.

  • Please add Staff Sgt. James M. Malachowski, of blessed memory. He was KIA in Helmand, Afghanistan, 20 Mar 2011. His home state is Maryland. For his verifiable Jewish connection please Google “James Malachowski Grave” and you will see his grave stone in Arlingtion National Cemetary marked clearly with a Star of David. May he rest in peace and never be forgotten. Semper Fi, Samson

  • Capt Rubin, i think Zev Kaufman of the 101st was missed in any event there is a whole site with videos photos and a story about him. http://zevy.weebly.com/sergeant-lowhide.html


    • Do you have any info on how he died? It’s not clear if he was killed in action or not. It’s clear he saw combat, but from the video it sounds like he came home and then went to the National Guard and worked in his community.

  • I asked a friend in Los Angeles to visit Petty Officer John Daniel House’s gravesite at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Simi Valley to verify that he’s Jewish and after visiting the grave and asking the personnel at the cemetery, he informed me that Petty Officer House was NOT Jewish – the reason that he is buried in a Jewish cemetery is that his wife is Jewish and he was buried in her family plot that was already paid for, and the policy of the cemetery is not to break up families.

  • Thanks Samson. I made the edit.

  • Marine SGT Allen Soifert was killed in Lebanon a few days before the bombing Sergeant Soifert, the first Jewish Marine killed in Beirut after the first few paragraphs it tells about SGT Soifert http://www.erichammelbooks.com/books/f_the-root.php

    • Here’s the part where it mentions SGT Soifert

      Staff Sergeant Dennis Allston had been in Beirut longer than any other Marine; it had been nearly four hundred days since he accompanied the first Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) detachment sent to the BIA to clear unexploded ordnance in October 1982. The twenty-five-year-old Philadelphian had seen it all, had come to have mixed feelings about the city in which he had spent two birthdays–loved the city and its diverse peoples, hated what those people did to one another in the name of religion and politics.

      On October 15, 1983, a Friday, Allston was temporarily in charge of the EOD detachment. He and his good friend, Staff Sergeant Allen Soifert, a twenty-five-year-old Canadian-born professional Marine, had decided to respond personally to a routine call by a Lebanese Army unit in Hooterville that had discovered what appeared to be an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade round. The two left the MAU Service Support Group (MSSG) 24 headquarters building and drove out along the Perimeter Road to Hooterville, where they found the casing of a defective RPG that had apparently detonated without actually blowing up. The reasonably intact steel casing was thrown into the back of the EOD jeep and the two staff sergeants climbed aboard for the ride home.

      Between the time Allston and Soifert passed Lieutenant Bill Harris’s platoon on the way to the RPG and the time they approached the corner on the way home, the Syrian Army snipers around Cafe Daniel had begun taking potshots at passing American vehicles. The first such shooting occurred as an MSSG-24 dump truck lumbered past the corner. A few rounds ricocheted off the heavy-gauge steel frame of the truck before the driver realized that he was in danger. As he pushed the truck into high gear and ran from the area, the shaken youngster mouthed a hurried warning into the handset of the vehicle’s radio. Several other vehicles that happened to be passing at the time were also the objects of sniper fire from the vicinity of Cafe Daniel. One of them, a jeep, was under the control Lance Corporal Bill Riddle, who was taking his military driving test. Riddle was shot through both legs as he passed Cafe Daniel. Other vehicles on the Outer Perimeter Road highballed out of the area as the radio waves crackled with blunt warnings. A back-hoe operator was forced to pull over and hide behind the rear tire of his vehicle as Charlie Company Marines engaged the Moslem riflemen. The MAU headquarters ordered the Outer Perimeter Road closed to all traffic. Bill Harris’s platoon was placed on full alert, ready to battle the snipers if they could be pinpointed.

      The EOD jeep, with Staff Sergeant Allston driving, was neither halted nor contacted about of the closure of the roadway. Allston and Soifert were bantering to pass the time until they got back to the MSSG-24 headquarters, which was just a few minutes away. Moments before the jeep arrived in the vicinity of Cafe Daniel, the Charlie Company sentries assigned to block the road to vehicular traffic were forced by heavy Moslem gunfire to seek cover.

      It was about 1000. As the jeep headed south toward the corner opposite Cafe Daniel, both staff sergeants involuntarily leaned back, then exclaimed their surprise when they simultaneously realized that several rounds had passed in front of them, between their faces and the windshield. It dawned on Allston that the gunfire was coming from a treeline about one hundred meters to his right. As Allston turned his head to pinpoint the source of the fire, other weapons along the route opened fire on the jeep. Allston instinctively thumped his booted foot hard upon the accelerator, hoping to run the gantlet.

      “I’ve been hit,” said Staff Sergeant Soifert in a calm voice, “In the chest.” Allston then felt his passenger slump down beside him.

      The jeep was rapidly approaching an intersection where Lebanese civilian construction workers had been building a culvert. This was the path to safety, so Allston started the jeep into a tight right turn. At that instant, he sensed that Soifert was slipping out of the right side of the vehicle. Without thinking, the driver took his right hand from the steering wheel and grabbed his tottering partner. This action prevented Allston from completing the turn. The jeep turned wide and both left tires bounced across a low berm shielding the newly emplaced culvert. The jeep overbalanced and Allston was thrown clear over a distance of about ten feet.

      There was just time to duck and roll, then Allston came up running–under continuous fire–back to the jeep, which had turned over on its side, driver’s side up. The only good fortune was that the jeep now formed a substantial barrier between the two Marines and the direct fire.

      Allen Soifert’s right foot was beneath the side of the jeep, and the laces of his left boot were entangled in the framework of the passenger seat. He had landed on his buttocks and his head was scraped or cut by the lip of his helmet. Or perhaps he had been grazed by a passing bullet when several Iranian gunmen first opened fire.

      Soifert was fully conscious and spoke to Allston in a very calm voice. Allston had the feeling that the wounded man was more in control of himself than he, Allston, was. Soifert reaffirmed that he had been shot in the chest, but when Allston probed beneath Soifert’s flak jacket, he could find neither an entry wound nor any blood. In fact, Soifert had been shot just beneath his right nipple. The round had penetrated his sternum, cut through his trachea and lungs, rearranged vital organs, and lodged near his left kidney.

      Allston reached into the jeep’s cargo compartment for their squad radio. It was not there. As he cast about for the missing radio, he spotted a lone gunman in the treeline. Allston drew and cocked his .45-caliber automatic pistol and fired several rounds without hitting the man. As he ducked back behind the jeep, however, he saw the radio, which had been thrown clear when the jeep rolled over. It was now in the open, about where he had landed earlier. Allston screwed up his courage and darted into the open. He was lucky, for no one fired directly at him, though he had heard rounds passing overhead since landing on the ground. Allston pulled the radio back to the lee side of the jeep and keyed the handset. Nothing.

      As Allston thought about his next move, he saw some movement about three hundred meters away, on the BIA side of the road. Marines were pouring rifle and machine-gun fire at the Amal positions and nearby rooftops in Hooterville. Staff Sergeant Allston shouted at them in the hope they would send help, but he knew that their doing so would likely result in additional casualties. Allen Soifert, who was fully cogent and who had a very keen sense of the severity of his injuries, verbalized Allston’s feelings of desperation, actually announcing that he did not want other Marines risking their lives in his behalf. There was no need to worry. Lieutenant Bill Harris’s heart went out to the two men trapped in the open, but he knew he would sustain dead and wounded if he sent any of his men to help them. His decision to keep his Marines under cover was confirmed within minutes in a message from Captain Chris Cowdrey, the Charlie Company commander.

      Soifert next chided Allston for his failure to get through on the radio, suggesting in a bantering voice that his nominal superior had forgotten to turn it on, or failed to key the handset, or improperly set the antenna. This was typical of Soifert’s well-honed sense of humor. Allston was not feeling the wounded man’s mirthful energy, so responded in less-than- charitable manner, which caused Soifert to respond in a humorous fashion.

      Continued efforts by Allston to work the radio were unsuccessful. At length, Soifert said that he would try to get through. Allston obliged him, but it was by then apparent that the radio had been damaged in the accident or, more likely, had not been working at all that morning.

      As the two sat tight, Allston thought he heard a tank moving nearby. In fact, Staff Sergeant Richard Smith was attempting to maneuver his M-60 tank to the roadway, either to provide direct fire support or, if the opportunity arose, to dash out and snatch the two EOD staff sergeants. The racket from the tank drew the attention of Amal militia fighters on the opposite flank, and several of their RPGs passed close enough to the tank to force Smith to reconsider his boldness. He well knew that an RPG could destroy a tank.

      Next, a jeep bearing 1st Lieutenant Nick Nanna and two enlisted Marines pulled up right beside the overturned jeep. Nanna stepped out behind the damaged vehicle just as heavy fire from the Moslem-held treeline whipped by overhead. He grabbed a small radio, ordered the jeep to get clear, and hunkered down next to Soifert to see if he could help.

      Lieutenant Nanna took charge, forcing his way onto the Marine tactical net with a report on his arrival and Soifert’s injuries. The radioman on the other end of the conversation was infuriatingly dense, getting the message completely fouled up three or four times. Dennis Allston’s simmering frustration grew to overt ire, and he yelled at Nanna to “stop playing word games” and order up some help. Nanna requested that corpsmen be dispatched with an ambulance jeep.

      Second Lieutenant Mike Murphy, the MSSG-24 communicator, was incensed by the events unfolding on his tactical net. When Murphy volunteered to lead the rescue, he was turned down, but he could not be kept down.

      Chief Hospital Corpsman B. C. Miller and Hospital Corpsman 3d Class Ken Boyer were on duty at the MSSG-24 aid station when a runner arrived to announce that a member of the MSSG had been shot on the Outer Perimeter Road. Miller and Boyer grabbed their medical kits and headed upstairs to get the ambulance. They discovered that it was on a run elsewhere. The two corpsmen next headed for the battalion landing team motorpool, intent upon borrowing the battalion aid station’s (BAS) ambulance jeep. Their request was turned down. Boyer and Miller cursed up a storm, applied a liberal dose of guilt, and won the day. As Boyer started the engine, he and Miller were joined by Hospitalman Gary Cooper and Lieutenant Mike Murphy.

      The roadway was blocked at a Marine checkpoint by a dump truck, perhaps the one that had earlier been hit by militia gunfire. As the corpsmen and Lieutenant Murphy fretted, the driver and the sentry chattered away. Murphy yelled “Hey, Marine!” several times before the truck driver looked up. When Murphy identified himself, the dump truck pulled out of the way, but the sentry moved to bar the road. “Hey! We got sniper fire down there.”

      “Yeah,” Doc Boyer called as he passed, “We’re going to pick up the guy who got shot.”

      As Doc Boyer pulled up behind a dirt berm, Lieutenant Murphy, Doc Cooper, and Chief Miller jumped out, grabbed a backboard and headed for the roadway. Boyer was out of the vehicle, but he decided to turn off the jeep’s engine. He was just about to lean back in when the windshield on the driver’s side was blown out by a high-velocity bullet. He left the engine running.

      Sergeant Foster Hill, one of Lieutenant Bill Harris’s squad leaders, was watching the corpsmen tear across the open ground to the overturned jeep when he was asked for an up-to-the-moment report by the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Larry Gerlach, who had arrived at his elbow without warning or an entourage. Hill gave his report, then turned back to watch the unfolding drama.

      By the time Murphy, Miller, Cooper, and Boyer reached Staff Sergeant Soifert’s side, the wounded man was sinking. He had remained in a jocular mood until then, realistic about his condition, but very much in control of his emotions. As bullets continued to fly overhead, Soifert got into an argument with the corpsmen over his condition. He knew he had been hit in the lungs, and he said so, but the docs initially thought he was not, for he was not coughing blood. He also felt himself going into shock, and he offered advice as to how the docs might treat him. Doc Boyer ran his hands down Soifert’s torso to feel for wounds. When he reached back to the wounded man’s kidneys, a 7.62mm round fell into his hand. This he handed to Staff Sergeant Allston, and then he applied a battle dressing.

      As Chief Miller continued to treat the wounded Marine, who was by now drooling blood from between bluish lips, Boyer and Cooper went to work getting Soifert’s foot untangled from the seat. It was clear that the ankle had been broken by the twisting fall, so it was decided to keep Soifert’s boot on if possible; at least it was providing some support. The laces were so badly entangled that Boyer decided to disassemble the seat. He twisted nuts and bolts and worked a set of oversized wire-cutters where they could do their job. At length, as Soifert’s eyes began rolling back and a pink froth appeared on his lips, the seat was pulled from the jeep and the wounded man was stretched out on the roadway. A little shove on the jeep itself by all hands freed the trapped right foot. Doc Boyer kneeled over the declining wounded man to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

      Staff Sergeant Richard Smith briefly returned with his M-60 tank to traverse its 105mm main gun in the direction of the Moslem-held buildings, but he was again threatened by RPGs, and also ordered to withdraw. This time, at least, the Marines and corpsmen behind the overturned jeep could see the attempt, and that was mildly heartening. As a Marine amphibian tractor rolled up behind a nearby berm, everyone grabbed the backboard on which Soifert had been placed, and ran up the tractor’s rear ramp into the lighted interior.

      Charlie Company’s 1st Platoon opened fire on the Moslem fighters, forcing many of them to seek cover in The Armory. Next, Lieutenant Harris unleashed his grenadiers, who volleyed M-203 40mm high-explosive rounds into the building’s thick concrete walls. It is doubtful that any Moslems died, but they were certainly bounced around.

      Allen Soifert finally lost consciousness as the amphibian- tractor driver pivoted the huge vehicle and headed directly up the roadway to the BAS, where a litter team was standing by. Dennis Allston stood by the door of the battalion landing team headquarters building for a moment, then heard himself called to the MSSG-24 building. He reluctantly tore himself away, knowing that he would be put to work to get his mind off the morning’s trauma.

      Dr. John Hudson was in the Navy for just one reason: he had run out of tuition money midway through medical school, and the Navy had paid his way. He was a good, caring doctor, but he either had no sense of military discipline or superbly resisted the growth of an officer-like veneer. Tales of his military ineptitude were legend in the battalion, and he went out of his way to put on weight, his way of bearding the slim-trim Marines with whom he served. This day, the games were left at the operating-room door. John Hudson simply wanted to save a life.

      Grim-faced Lieutenant Danny Wheeler, the battalion chaplain, stripped off Allen Soifert’s flak jacket and camouflage blouse. The surgeon probed the bloodless wound beneath the right nipple. At first, Dr. Hudson was certain that Soifert’s heart had been nicked, and he was ready to open the staff sergeant’s chest, but he decided within seconds that the heart was not involved. He also determined that Soifert was as good as dead. But as good as isn’t the same as already, so the overweight Georgia country doctor worked to stabilize his patient, who would not survive surgery of any sort if his shock could not be controlled.

      The wisdom and curse of a BAS is that complex and sophisticated equipment is reserved for medical facilities farther up the line. All a battalion surgeon is supposed to do is patch the wounded who might live and pass them along to better- manned and better-equipped surgical teams. Most often, the system works. Large numbers of surgeons are not risked in the close combat that is the lot of an infantry battalion; they are available in safer places, where they can better serve the majority. Marine battalions facing the hardest combat in Vietnam each drew just one surgeon, a team of fewer than twenty corpsmen, and limited equipment. This is hard-nosed wisdom, but where John Hudson and Allen Soifert were concerned this October noon hour, it was a curse. Treating Soifert was simply beyond the capabilities of the BAS’s spartan facilities, and Soifert was in no condition to be moved. Hudson did what he could, but it was not enough. Within minutes of his arrival, Allen Soifert slipped into a coma and then stopped breathing. Hudson got Soifert’s heart pumping, but it failed again. And again. Then there was no bringing him back.

      Chaplain Danny Wheeler, a Lutheran, administered Last Rites, a Catholic ritual, to the dead Marine, who was Jewish. Allen Soifert, who had become a United States citizen in 1968 at the age of ten, was buried a week after his death in Beirut at age the age of twenty-five at the Jewish cemetery in Nashua, New Hampshire.

      When news that Allen Soifert had died reached Charlie Company on the afternoon of October 15, Lieutenant Bill Harris’s 1st Platoon took matters into its own hands. M-203 rounds were accurately placed just behind many of the walls the Amal snipers were using for cover. Some of the grenadiers were able to bounce high-explosive 40mm rounds off buildings to get them into hard-to-hit Moslem emplacements. The Marine platoon’s M-60 machine guns were used to suppress the militia automatic weapons.

      Word arrived that night through the civilian news reporters who daily traveled between Hooterville and the BIA that women and children had been hurt by the Marines, so Harris was obliged to order his men to withhold their general fire. However, though the 24th MAU Headquarters was loath to allow Harris’s platoon to undertake a general fire fight, it sanctioned the use of trained snipers to begin a routine of careful, aimed target suppression the next day. Lieutenant Colonel Larry Gerlach sent four additional snipers to Harris’s sector, bringing the total to six. In addition to their own specialized equipment, the snipers were to make use of the optical range-finding equipment aboard Staff Sergeant Richard Smith’s M-60 tank, a terrific plus for pinpointing targets in the built-up areas opposite Harris’s positions.

      Sergeant Foster Hill put forth a plan aimed at achieving a balance more favorable to the Marines without endangering the lives of noncombatants. In Hill’s opinion, it was not worth the expenditure of a great deal of ammunition to go after five or six militia fighters here, and five or six there. Instead, grenadiers could force the small groups toward the alley fronting Cafe Daniel and The Armory, and the snipers could pick them off, almost at their leisure. Bill Harris felt it was worth a try.

      When militia warriors opened fire on Harris’s platoon on the morning of October 16, Harris grenadiers drew extra ammunition and went to work. Sergeant Hill did the honors. His M-203 gunner dropped several rounds right on top of The Armory. The smallish rounds could not penetrate the concrete roof, but the deafening noise did force the gunmen hiding inside to run into the alleyway. Aided by spotters, the Marine snipers had a field day. With the full but tacit concurrence of higher headquarters, Lieutenant Harris simply overlooked the hitherto extremely constraining rules of engagement under which Marines most often could not engage known gunmen. This day, Harris decided that, as long as there was shooting going on, anyone caught with a weapon in his hands was fair game. This slight shift in the rules caught many hitherto untouchable militiamen off guard. Militia gunmen exiting The Armory simply holding their weapons were dropped without warning in the alleyway between it and Cafe Daniel. Really liberal interpretation of the new reading found the snipers shooting a man who went to the aid of an injured or dead comrade; the helper picked up the fallen man’s weapon, so he was summarily executed. One Shiite who was spared, on orders from on high, was the local warlord, Castro. Though at least one sniper had Castro in his sights, the Marine was not permitted to fire. In sum, however, there was no way that Harris or his Marines were about to let the rank-and-file militiamen ply their trade with the impunity they had enjoyed for so long. In this, they were fully supported by their senior commanders, who felt it was time to make an impression, and particularly in light of the city-wide ceasefire that was supposed to be in effect.

      Five Amal warriors definitely were killed this day, and at least ten others were severely wounded. (Next day, newspeople returning from Hooterville told Bill Harris the names of the dead and wounded militiamen, a truly bizarre turn in this strange little war.)

      At length, news arrived that the Amal leadership had asked for a ceasefire. Harris’s Marines immediately complied. They knew that the Moslems would not have asked for a ceasefire if Charlie Company’s fire had not been effective.

      • Steven, Thanks for that story on Sgt Soifert. Sgt Soifert was a good friend of mine; but he was killed in 1983. Please note that this Yerzeit/Memorial page and comments are for the GWOT which started on 9-11-2001. Semper Fi, Samson

      • Capt Rubin, Please add DM2 (Petty Officer 2nd Class) Michael A. Noeth, US Navy, to our Yerzeit/Memorial list. He was Jewish and was killed during the Al-Queda attack on the Pentagon on 9-11-2001. He was an active member of Chabad of Tidewater, VA, and the attached link is to a recent article on the Crownheights.info website remembering him on 9-11. http://crownheights.info/op-ed/401046/remembering-michael-noeth-still-feeling-the-pain/ Semper Fi, Samson