His Son Was Killed In Iraq, What He Did Next Was Wonderful

This family is incredible.

Bill Krissoff's son Nathan was killed in Iraq in the Winter of 2006.

As an orthopedic surgeon, Bill had an idea for a way to honor his son's memory and to ease his own grief: He decided to try to become a battalion surgeon with the U.S. Marines, so he enlisted. 

"I think my dad was inspired by Nate," Nathan's brother Austin said. "And I think he felt that he had the capability to make a difference."

However, Bill's noble ambition wouldn't be achieved without a fair share of obstacles. He was told that his age (60) would be a problem, and that his age waiver would probably not be approved. So Bill did what any determined father would do: he took his case up the ladder — to the President of the United States.

In the summer of 2007, the Krissoff family met with George W. Bush as part of a tradition among families of the fallen.  At the end of the visit, he asked if there was anything he or his staff could do for them. Bill had a very specific request.

"I got a phone call later that week from my recruiter and he was laughing," Bill said.

He got his age waiver.

"Afghanistan was a very, very dangerous place," Major General L. D. Nicholson said. "And Bill was precisely the type of surgeon that we desperately needed there to save the lives of our young marines."

Bill's story has since sparked attention from Steven Spielberg (who salutes him and his family at the end of this video). He certainly honored Nathan's memory in a powerful, heroic and impactful way.