This Memorial Day, South Brunswick Public Library would like to honor those who have fallen from our community.
Remembering those that have fallen
First Lt. Seth Dvorin
First Lt. Seth Dvorin, who graduated from South Brunswick High School in 1998, died near Iskandariyah, Iraq, after a roadside bomb exploded while he was conducting a counter explosive mission. Seth was an officer in the 10th Mountain Division, Battery B, 3rd. Battalion, 62nd. Air Defense Artillery Regiment of the United States Army. For his bravery in the line of duty, Dvorin was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He was posthumously promoted from Second to First Lieutenant. Eye-witnesses to the explosion described Lieutenant Dvorin as a true hero who warned others to get back from the bomb he had spotted. That day, he gave up his life to save many others. Throughout his life there were many examples of his helping others, showing courage, and practicing compassion. After Seth graduated from South Brunswick High School, he wanted to join the Army; however, his parents insisted he go to college first, then go into the military. After the military experience, Seth planned to work for the FBI or the CIA. At Rutgers, Dvorin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology in 2002. He enlisted right after graduating and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Then, it was on to the Air Defense Artillery School at El Paso, Texas. After finishing his training, he found out that he was going to be sent to Iraq. Before going overseas, Seth married his college sweetheart, Kelly Harris. Five days after getting married he left for Iraq. In June of 2004, the South Brunswick Township Council honored this brave soldier’s ultimate sacrifice. Dvorin’s mother was presented with two plaques–one held an inscription that described how the community felt about her son. The other plaque featured a picture of Lt. Dvorin posing in front of a large American flag. The mother, in turn, announced a scholarship to be set up in her son’s name to recognize students who study the humanities. Seth Dvorin gave it his all each day of a life cut short by the tragedy of war. May his memory live on.
Pfc. Gary R. Buttenbaum
The first graduate of South Brunswick High School to sacrifice his life in service to his country in Vietnam was Pfc. Gary Buttenbaum. He had originally been scheduled for heavy artillery duty, but, after arriving in Vietnam, the 23 year-old Marine was transferred to front line infantry security duty in Huong Hoa. On his thirteenth day in combat, he was killed by rifle fire. Buttenbaum had enlisted in the Marine Corps in July of 1966. He completed his basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, and was sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for combat training. After a 30-day leave, he went to Camp Pendleton, California, for jungle warfare training. He then went to Okinawa for five weeks. He finally arrived in Vietnam on April 28, 1967. Prior to military service, Buttenbaum attended a few colleges for a brief time, then went to work at an auto body shop in Hightstown, New Jersey. He was married at the time and moved into his wife’s parent’s home in Kendall Park. Unfortunately, Gary had been married just 26 months before being killed in Vietnam. Pfc. Gary Buttenbaum was a fine, upstanding young man who wanted to serve his country and demonstrate a Marine’s courage under fire. He died a hero.
Corporal Raymond Peter Albietz
Raymond Albietz was born on March 11th, 1943 and lived in Kendall Park. He was a corporal in the Army. His service start date was October 23, 1967. Corporal Albietz was killed in action by enemy gunfire in Vietnam on January 22nd 1967, just six months after enlisting. He is interred in Franklin Memorial Park in North Brunswick.
SPC Timothy Ochs
He was only twenty-one years old when he lost his life. Specialist Fourth Class, Timothy C. Ochs, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl F. Ochs of Georges Road, Dayton, was killed in an ambush while en route to a new assignment near Saigon on January 30, 1968. This tragedy occurred just days after he had completed a thirty-six day leave to see his parents back home. Ochs had served a year prior to the leave and had re-enlisted in the Army in December before coming home to visit. He had volunteered for another six months of service to his country. Timothy was a life-long resident of Dayton. He graduated from South Brunswick High School in 1965. He then matriculated at the Institute of Computer Programming in New Brunswick. Then he entered the military. After receiving his basic training at Fort Dix, Ochs was assigned to Vietnam as a computer data processing specialist. After his final six-month tour, he was planning to return to a job waiting for him at McGraw-Hill in Hightstown, New Jersey. Timothy Ochs, one of our hometown heroes, never got the chance.
SPC Stephen C. Ponty
Stephen Chester Ponty was born on May 28th, 1949 in Monmouth Junction and attended South Brunswick High School. He enlisted in the Army and his tour of Vietnam started March 8th, 1968. Stephen served in the 187th Assault Helicopter Company. He was a Specialist 4 and worked in helicopter repair. Stephen Ponty was killed in action on December 28, 1968 creating a smokescreen so the Command and Control Aircraft could land safely.
LCpl Sean F. Estler
Born in New Brunswick, he resided in Kendall Park most of his life.
He graduated from South Brunswick High School in 1982, where he was active as a member of the Outdoor Club, a member of the junior varsity football team, and a member of the band.
Cpl. Estler was a member of Troop 90 Boy Scouts sponsored by the Community Presbyterian Church of the Sand Hills, Kendall Park, and in 1981, he was the first member of the church to receive his Eagle award He served as an assistant scoutmaster.
LCpl Sean F. Estler died on October 23rd, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon from injuries of a suicide truck bomb attack on the Marine Barracks