The war in Iraq has taken the life of a third Nevada County serviceman.
Marine Corps 1st Lt. Nathan Krissoff, 25, died Dec. 9 from injuries sustained when the Humvee he was riding in during a routine patrol was bombed in al-Anbar Province, Iraq, said Krissoff's brother, Austin Krissoff.
"He never felt like he shouldn't have been there (in Iraq)," said Austin Krissoff, 23. "He wanted to serve his country in one way or another."
A memorial service for the Truckee native will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 23 at Nightingale Hall at the University of Nevada, Reno. Graveside honors will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.
Two other Marines from Nevada County " Lance Cpl. Adam Strain and Lance Cpl. John Lucente " were killed in Iraq in 2005. More than 50 county residents are serving in different branches of the United States military forces around the world.
Nathan Krissoff told his brother during a Dec. 2 phone conversation that he was "excited about the job he was doing over there," Austin Krissoff said.
Nathan Krissoff was a counterintelligence officer assigned to a reconnaissance battalion based in Okinawa, Japan. He was deployed in September with his division to al-Anbar province, Iraq.
Born in Truckee on March 29, 1981, he was the son of Truckee orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Krissoff and wife, Chris, who now live in Reno.
Nathan Krissoff excelled as a student and an athlete. He sought adventure in life. Growing up at Northstar, the two brothers loved to ski the back side of the mountain on powder days, Austin Krissoff said. They also shared a passion for whitewater kayaking, camping " anything outdoors.
On a two-week leave in August, Nathan Krissoff joined his brother and a group of friends on a three-day backpacking trip to the Emigrant Wilderness, just north of Yosemite.
"It was one of those classic trips where time stands still," Austin Krissoff said.
That trip was also the last time he saw his brother.
"We were best friends " my right-hand man," he said. "He'd always push me to be a better man, and I'd push him."
From "philosophical hot-tub discussions" to sharing beers at a microbrewery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he said his big brother was someone he looked up to and could relate to when discussing basic training with the Marines.
Austin Krissoff said he received a postcard Sunday " the day after his brother's death " written by his brother, wishing him "Congratulations and welcome to the club." The note referred to Austin Krissoff's recent completion of basic training. He will most likely be commissioned as a second lieutenant with the Marines later this week.
Why he served
Deeply affected by the events of Sept. 11, Nathan Krissoff decided he wanted to join the fight in the global war on terror and joined the Marines in 2004, Austin Krissoff said. After he was commissioned as a second lieutenant with the Marines, Nathan Krissoff completed three months of human intelligence training in order to gain more experience to pursue a career in counterterrorism with the CIA, Austin said.
Austin Krissoff said his brother wanted to work with the CIA at an embassy abroad or undercover. He was "a very intelligent guy" but "never put himself on a pedestal," Austin said.
The Krissoff family is "hanging tough" in dealing with his death, Austin Krissoff said.
Nathan Krissoff lived his life by two quotes, Austin said: "Carpe Diem," which means "seize the day," and a prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson: "Lord give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath ... and in all changes of fortune ... down to the gates of death, loyal and loving one to another."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Nevada County war dead
Nevada County residents who have given their lives in military service to their country during the war in Iraq are:
- U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Adam Strain, killed Aug. 3, 2005, by hostile fire during combat in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. From Smartville, he graduated from Nevada Union High School in 2003.
- U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. John "J.T." Lucente, killed Nov. 16, 2005 by hostile fire during an ambush in Ubaydi, Iraq, near the Syrian border. From Lake of the Pines, he graduated from Bear River High School in 2004. He was 19. He posthumously received a Bronze Star for valor in saving a wounded comrade during the skirmish in which he died.
- U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Nathan Krissoff, died Dec. 9 from injuries sustained when the Humvee he was riding in during a routine patrol was bombed in al-Anbar Province, Iraq. From Truckee, he was 25.
" The Union staff