NEW YORK (Oct. 18)
Marine Sgt. Allan Soifert, killed last Friday by sniper fire as he drove his jeep through a Shiite Moslem dominated sector of south Beirut, was described today as a “very proud Jew.”
“He didn’t hide his Judaism and everyone knew he was Jewish,” said Soifert’s stepfather, Chaim Romer, in a telephone interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Romer said his stepson was an active member of the Jewish community in his hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire, where Soifert was buried today.
The 25 year-old marine is believed to be the first Jewish American soldier killed in Lebanon as part of the U.S. contingent in the multinational force. Romer stressed that Soifert viewed his participation in the MNF as a purely military endeavor. Soifert served as a bomb disposal expert.
WILLING TO FIGHT FOR PEACE
At funeral services today at the Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, Soifert was eulogized “as a marine who was even willing to sacrifice his own life for peace so that others could live.” Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg of the Montifiore Synagogue in Lowell, Mass, who delivered one of the eulogies, said:
“Allan is not only a national here but a personal here. The telephone calls of sympathy have come not only from the President, the Governor and the marine commander, but from childhood friends and teachers who remember Allan.”
Soifert was born in Toronto, Canada, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He dropped out of high school in 1977 to join the marines. He served a six-month tour of duty in Lebanon last year. He visited Nashua last July and said he had volunteered for a second tour of duty in Lebanon.