Silver Star 1st Lt. Nathan Krissoff

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Lt Krissoff

1st Lt. Nathan Krissoff of Reno was killed Friday, 9 December 2006 in al-Abar province in Iraq, his family said. Marine Corps officials Saturday notified the Krissoff family. The family said in a statement the lieutenant routinely took part in patrols throughout al-Abar, often told them of the heroism of his Marines and was proud to be part of creating a more stable Iraq.

The family said in a statement the lieutenant routinely took part in patrols throughout al-Abar, often told them of the heroism of his Marines and was proud to be part of creating a more stable Iraq. "His Marines were his first priority," the family said. "He consistently and courageously led them from the front. His commitment to his family, the Corps and his country never wavered. He was a tremendously loyal son, brother and American who made the ultimate sacrifice for the defense of his country. Krissoff joined the Marine Corps in June 2004. He was a counterintelligence officer assigned to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion based in Okinawa, Japan.

Krissoff graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he was captain of the swim team.InReno, Krissoff was a world-class kayaker, qualifying for the U.S. Junior National team with his younger brother Austin in 1998. Nathan Krissoff was also an alpine skier. "If you think about it, it's kind of the same sport," Nathan Krissoff told the Reno Gazette-Journal in 1998. "Instead of skis, you've got a 14-foot boat under you. Instead of poles, you've got a double paddle in your hands. And instead of reading the hill to find the fastest route down, you're reading the water, trying to find the fastest route down the river."Nathan and Austin Krissoff grew up river rafting with their father, Bill Krissoff in Truckee. The brothers specialized in wild water kayak racing."I like wild water because it's really a challenge," Nathan Krissoff said in 1998. "It takes power and endurance to make it to the bottom of a five-mile course, technical skills to maneuver around the obstacles and a lot of skill to read the river and find the fastest current."Charles Albright, a friend who said he trained in rowing with Nathan and Austin and was a patient of their father, an orthopedist, called the fallen marine a "fantastic human being.""He was caring, friendly, outgoing and very polite," Albright said. "He was a perfect son for Bill and Kris (his mother). "When we talked, you could tell he took his service to his country seriously."