More coverage of the funeral of 1st Lt Nate Krissoff ’03, USMC.

When terrorists struck the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, former Reno resident Nathan Krissoff put his life on hold to protect his nation.

A Truckee native, Krissoff died Dec. 9 from wounds sustained in a roadside bombing in Iraq’s Anbar province. The first lieutenant was 25 and a Williams College graduate who put his international affairs career on hold to join the military.

“He would not and could not stand idly by,” Marine Corps Capt. Michael Dubrule said Saturday during a memorial service for Krissoff in Reno. “The Marine Corps was a place where Nate could give back to his country and make a difference. Nate did make a difference.”

The standing-room only crowd filled Nightingale Concert Hall on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, where Krissoff was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart. The 90-minute service included “God Bless America,” the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the Jewish mourners’ kaddish — a solemn prayer. Law enforcement motorcycles escorted the hearse carrying the flag-draped coffin to Mountain View Cemetery.


During the memorial at UNR, Krissoff was remembered as a charismatic leader and a “modern-day knight” dedicated to protecting the Constitution. The names of presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower were mentioned in remembering Krissoff.

After college and while working in Washington, D.C., Krissoff interviewed with the CIA but was told by the agency he was “too young,” says a memorial service program handed out Saturday. “… Being deeply affected by the events of 9/11, he decided that he wanted work on the front line in the Global War on Terror.”

Commissioned as a second lieutenant in August 2004, Krissoff was with the 3rd Marine Division, where he served as a counterintelligence officer. And Gov.-elect Jim Gibbons noted to mourners Saturday that Krissoff was sent to Iraq on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Acting on intelligence not long before his death, Krissoff helped save the life of an older Iraqi man from insurgents, Gibbons said. Stories like this from Iraq “rarely” make it into the mainstream media, said Gibbons, a combat pilot in the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars.

The Marines credit Krissoff with coming up with “pinpoint intelligence” information against “an enemy that hides behind civilians.”

This resulted from fact-gathering “up close and personal and often in the most dangerous places,” said Dubrule, the Marine captain who read comments from soldiers serving with Krissoff.

“Nate knew the danger, and he stepped in readily. His efforts helped save the lives of Marines, sailors, soldiers and innocent Iraqis.”

Krissoff was the son of Dr. and Mrs. William Krissoff and attended Roy Gomm Elementary School and Darrell Swope Middle School in Reno. He later attended Stevenson prep school in Pebble Beach, Calif., where he was a standout athlete.

He graduated from Williams in Massachusetts, where he earned a political science degree and was captain of the men’s swim team. He landed a job with an international studies institute in Washington before joining the Marines.


“I think the thing that is most telling about his character is the fact that this is a young man with a whole lot of options available to him, and he wasn’t looking to learn a trade or a skill,” Dubrule said after the memorial. “He wanted to serve and give back to his country. That should be pointed out whenever you talk about Nathan Krissoff — that he was there for the right reasons.”

Condolences to all.

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