The Fallen
Staff Sergeant Christian Engeldrum (left) and Specialist Wilfredo Urbina (right) became the first members of the 69th to be killed in combat since the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.
Courtesy of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs

The First Losses

Christian Engeldrum served with the Regular Army during the First Gulf War. Following active duty, he joined the New York National Guard.


On the morning of September 11, 2001, Firefighter Christian Engeldrum and other members of FDNY Ladder Company 61 responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. He and his fellow firefighters spent five months assisting in recovery efforts at Ground Zero.


Learning that the 69th would be going to Iraq, Engeldrum re-enlisted. In May 2004, he deployed as a staff sergeant with the "Fighting 69th."


On November 29, Engeldrum and Specialist Wilfredo Urbina, a firefighter from Baldwin, New York, were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated beneath their humvee in Taji, Iraq.

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