Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Seth J Dvorin

East Brunswick, New Jersey

February 3, 2004

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
24 Army 2nd Lt

Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment

Fort Drum, New York

Killed in Iskandariyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded while he was conducting counter-IED operations along a supply route.
Dear President Bush,

With heavy heart, tears in my eyes and a home full of sorrow, I pick up my pen to write you about a brave soldier, 2nd Lt. Seth J. Dvorin, U.S. Army. My son was killed in Iraq on Feb. 3, 2004 fighting in a war.

Seth was a good boy, well-mannered, smart, kind and understanding.

He joined the Army in an effort to serve his country. And serve his country he did. Seth made the ultimate sacrifice.

Burying a child will no doubt be the hardest task that his mother and I shall ever have to do. The one question I have, and the one question I would like you to answer, is, "Why did my son and every other soldier that was killed, maimed and wounded have to suffer settling your vendetta?"

My son is gone just when he was laying a strong foundation to build upon for the rest of his life.

Now, President Bush, his life has been snuffed out in a meaningless war.

Where are all the weapons of mass destruction, where are the stock piles of chemical and biological weapons?

Please President, pray for all our fallen heroes and as a tribute to these heroes get our boys and girls out of Iraq now, before too much more blood is shed.

Since you waged this unnecessary war on Saddam Hussein the world has become a horrible place to live in.

I know my boy is safe now, in a new world free of hate and prejudices where GOD is his president, but you tell me President Bush why he had to go so soon and in such a violent way.

Respectfully yours, Richard M. Dvorin

The attached article was originally published in the Home News Tribune, East Brunswick, NJ, A Gannett Newspaper, and is protected under U.S. and international copyright laws.

Slain soldier's parents want war to end 

Published in the Home News Tribune 2/11/04

With a mix of Jewish and military traditions, Army 1st Lt. Seth J. Dvorin was buried and honored yesterday by more than 400 people one week after he was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb.

On Feb. 3, Dvorin saved the lives of 18 men in his platoon, including the Army specialist whom Dvorin, 24, pushed away seconds before the device exploded near Iskandariyah, Iraq, with Dvorin's body bearing the brunt of the blast, a relative said.

"Seth stood between life and death because that's what he was trained to do, but that's also who Seth was. That's what he had in his heart -- to protect his men, to care for them, no matter what. Seth was our hero," said the Rev. Mike O'Brien, a Presbyterian minister and stepfather of the soldier's wife, Kelly Dvorin.

At the graveside later, "Taps" was played and the casket's American flag was presented to Dvorin's wife. Mourners then lined up to shovel dirt into Dvorin's grave at Marlboro Memorial Cemetery in a Jewish tradition considered the greatest favor to the deceased.

The send-off also included tributes personalized for the Middlesex County native who joined the Army less than two years ago. Leading the way behind the silver hearse in the 150-vehicle procession was Dvorin's gleaming maroon Mustang, with an American flag in the rear window, driven by a close friend. Thirty-five New Brunswick police officers stood at attention near the grave in honor of his father, Richard Dvorin of East Brunswick, who retired from the force last year.

The hourlong funeral service at East Brunswick Jewish Center included recollections of Dvorin's personal nature. Best friend and fellow Rutgers University graduate Eric Nili of North Brunswick spoke of Dvorin's generosity and good will. Dvorin's mother, Sue Niederer of Pennington, spoke of the number of hearts her son had touched.

In remarks read by O'Brien, Kelly Dvorin recalled her husband's smile, his willingness to give a home to a cat no one would adopt and his phone calls from Iraq expressing concern for her well-being and happiness. There was also the memory of the quick, laughter-filled exit from a restaurant after Dvorin had insisted the sweets on a dessert tray were fake only to learn they were a gooey reality when he snatched one and turned it upside down on the table. Kelly Dvorin recalled her husband's lessons of love, loyalty, friendship and hard work.

"I made Seth a scrapbook and on the front it read, 'If I could sit across the porch from God, I would thank him for sending me you,' " Kelly Dvorin wrote. "Having Seth in my life was a blessing and a gift. Seth taught me lessons about life that I will carry with me forever."

Throughout the day, sister Rebekah Dvorin of East Brunswick clutched to her chest one of the American flags presented to the family.

"My brother is a brave hero who would never step down from any mission he was asked to conduct and for this he has given the ultimate sacrifice. I just want everybody to know how much I love my brother and how much he'll be missed," his sister said.

At the graveside, six military pallbearers held an American flag taut as Dvorin's wife and immediate family threw flowers with red, white and blue ribbons onto the casket. Another five servicemen fired three volleys each before "Taps" was played by an Army bugler.

After the casket's flag was folded corner over corner to make a tight triangle, a final white-gloved salute was given and a soldier presented the flag to Kelly Dvorin.

His wife also received Dvorin's Purple Heart, for being wounded and killed in action, and the Bronze Star, for meritorious service.

Dvorin's relatives have spoken out against the United States' continuing involvement in Iraq with his father writing an open letter to President Bush. Yesterday, his mother made her own public statement on the war, saying her son died a hero for Bush's vendetta.

"I want to know why my son was playing with bombs when that's not what he was trained to do," said Niederer, wearing the tan yarmulke painted with sports equipment and her son's name that she made for his bar mitzvah. "It's not a declared war so what did my son die for? It's time for us to get out of there. No parent should have to go through this."

Dvorin is the second Middlesex County resident to die since military operations began in Iraq in spring 2003 and one of more than 500 service members who have died in the war.

Army Spc. Narson B. Sullivan, a 21-year-old North Brunswick resident and graduate of Middlesex County Vocational-Technical High School, died in Iraq on April 25 when the weapon he was cleaning discharged and a round struck him in the head.

Dvorin was stationed at Fort Drum with the 10th Mountain Division and trained in air-defense artillery. He was married on Aug. 26, five days before he was sent to Iraq.

Their wedding day was mentioned yesterday as O'Brien recalled how a Vietnam veteran, a stranger who sat nearby at the restaurant that night, approached Dvorin. The veteran presented an angel pendant he had kept in his pocket during his time in Vietnam. Dvorin did the same in Iraq, hoping he too would return home safely like his older comrade.

The pendant didn't work this time, O'Brien noted, but Dvorin carried something else when he died.

"He died with the love of God in his heart. He died with the love of Kelly in his heart. He died with the love of his family in his heart. He died with the love of his men in his heart. And that's a damn sight better than any pendant anybody can carry," O'Brien said.

N.J. soldier killed in Iraq less than a month after visit home

Associated Press

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. ? When Army Lt. Seth Dvorin flew home from Iraq for two weeks of R&R last month, his family didn?t think it would be the last time they?d see the 24-year-old officer alive.

?I never thought my son was going to get killed,? Richard Dvorin said Wednesday, 24 hours after learning that his son had been killed while trying to disarm a bomb on an Iraqi roadside. ?I?m an optimist. I knew my boy was coming back.?

Seth Dvorin was killed Feb. 3 ? 17 days after returning to Iraq ? near Iskandariyah, 35 miles south of Baghdad, his family told The Star-Ledger of Newark.

He was the only soldier killed in the blast and the 17th soldier with New Jersey ties to die in Iraq.

The family learned of the soldier?s death, when an Army colonel and a chaplain from Fort Monmouth arrived at their East Brunswick home with the news.

The officers told sister Rebekah Dvorin that Seth?s unit had been ordered to clear the area of the homemade mines and bombs that have killed dozens of troops.

?They told us they were in a convoy and saw something in the road,? she said. ?My brother, the hero, told his driver to stop. That?s when the bomb detonated, when they were trying to dismantle it.?

Dvorin, a South Brunswick High School graduate, was part of the 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Richard Dvorin, 61, an Air Force veteran and retired New Brunswick police officer, called his son a loyal, responsible commander who sought to make life as easy as possible on the soldiers he oversaw.

Offered two weeks? leave in December, the father said, Dvorin refused to go because so many of his platoon members had not yet had the chance.

?He was a good human being,? the father said, tears rolling down his face.

Dvorin leaves behind a 25-year-old widow, Kelly Harris. The 2002 Rutgers graduate married his college sweetheart on Aug. 26, a week before his Sept. 2 deployment.

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