Pfc. Min Soo Choi, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

August 15, 2006 | Our Fallen Heroes

Born: January 28, 1984 in South Korea
Died: February 26, 2005 in Abertha, Iraq

Pfc. Min Soo Choi was born in Korea, but embraced America as his adopted land. In just a few short years he came to love and believe in America so much that he was willing to give his life for his adopted country.

Min Soo Choi came to the U.S. with his family, as a teenager, looking for a better life. His family found the community they were looking for in River Vale, New Jersey, a suburban outpost north of New York City. Min Soo Choi attended high school at Pascack Valley High School. He excelled at soccer and golf. He developed a dream that involved giving something back to the community. He graduated high school in 2003 with goals of pursuing a career in law enforcement.

While he considered working for a local police agency, his real dream was to work for the FBI. In September of 2003 he began his studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Although Min Soo Choi only spent one semester studying Criminal Justice at John Jay, he embodied the love for selfless service that resounds in the best students at the college.

After his first semester at John Jay, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. Like thousands of other young men and women, Min Soo Choi wanted to serve his country and gain valuable military experience that could later serve as a foundation for a law enforcement career.

Min Soo Choi was hoping he would be sent to Korea, instead the U.S. infantry assigned him to the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart in Georgia. At the start of 2005, the division was deployed on its second tour in Iraq. Min Soo Choi arrived inm Iraq on January 25. On August 1st, a roadside bomb detonated and killed him while his unit was a on a routine patrol.

A service for Min Soo Choi was held at Pascack Valley High School. Min Soo Choi received the The Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star from the Army. Besides these awards, he was also awarded U.S. citizenship, and a River Vale Policeman’s shield, making him both an American and an honorary policeman.

Min Soo Choi was buried on March 7, 2005 in Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington is our nation’s final resting place for it’s greatest heroes. Although Min Soo Choi only spent one semester at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he stands for the kind of selfless service the University promotes. He received his citizenship through a final heroic act, and now deservedly lies among the nation’s great men.