June 26, 2014

In Remembrance of Lt. Seth Dvorin: 10th Mountain Division Remembrance Ceremony in Fort Drum NY Honors Fallen Comrades

As Army Base in New York Honors its Fallen Soldiers from past year, friends and family of GI Go inspiration Lt. Seth Dvorin remember his courage and honor his legacy

The plaque commemorating soldiers who died from the 10th Mountain Division during the start of the Iraqi Conflict, including Lt. Seth Dvorin (listed 6th from left).

FORT DRUM, NY - At the Annual 10th Mountain Division Remembrance Ceremony at Fort Drum, NY, hundreds of family and friends came to honor their loved ones who have perished in 2013 and in years past. They came to remember their husbands, their wives, their mothers and their fathers; reflecting on the people they were and the sacrifices they made. And for members of the GI Go Fund, the day was no different for them.

Ten years ago, on February 3, 2004, Lt. Seth Dvorin was serving in the 10th Mountain Division’s Outkast group in Iraq. On that day, just 17 days after returning to combat, a roadside bomb detonated as his platoon was making a routine stop near the town of Iskandariyah, killing Seth instantly.

His death had a tremendous effect on the friends and family he left behind, from his mother and father Sue Niederer and Rich Dvorin to his sister Rebecca and young wife Kelly.

“It was incredibly hard then, and it never gets easier,” said Sue, who was at the ceremony to remember her son on the tenth anniversary of his passing. “I remember everything like it was yesterday, and in many ways it feels that way. But I can be thankful for the men and women he served with, including the ones who also died, and I can be here for the Gold Star families as they remember and mourn as I do.”

His death shocked his family back home immeasurably. But while the news of his passing devastated those who were closest to him when he died, it was the group of friends that had lost touch with him when he joined the army that experienced the greatest shock.

These friends, Jack Fanous, his brother James, along with Alexander Manis and his brothers Nick and Pete, where all in a state of shock and disbelief to learn that Seth had died. Moreover, they couldn’t believe the fact that they could lose touch with their friend, the same friend they went to grade school and college with, as soon as he joined the military.

But rather than be disappointed in what they didn’t do when Seth was alive, they decided to make him proud in his honor. They co-founded the GI Go Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans coming back find jobs, access their healthcare, go to college, and get off the streets. And as members of the GI Go Fund joined Sue and others in remembering Seth at Fort Drum, she reflected on her son’s legacy.

“I cannot say enough good things about the GI Go Fund and what it does for returning soldiers,” she said. “So many of these men and women come back and struggle with so many things, and this organization works with you no matter what. They do it in honor of my son, and that makes me so proud to be a part of it as well.”

Seth’s legacy is spreading beyond his impact on the GI Go Fund. A new book entitled Operation Shakespeare, written by Pulitzer-Prize finalist John Shiffman, focuses on an elite undercover Homeland Security unit, which included Seth himself, created to stop the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis, and North Koreans from acquiring sophisticated American-made electronics capable of guiding missiles, jamming radar, and triggering countless weapons—from wireless IEDs to nuclear bombs.

The book will be released July 8, 2014 by Simon & Schuster.