Petty Officer 2nd Class James Erik Suh
Born: March 2, 1977 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: June 28, 2005 Asabadad, Afghanistan
Petty Officer 2nd Class James Suh of Deerfield Beach, Florida attended Deerfield Beach High School. Even then he knew he wanted to be a Navy SEAL. Born Sung Gap Suh to Korean immigrants in 1977, Suh was brought up by his single father, Solomon Suh who worked for an art wholesaler. Academics was a priority for James in school, but he also starred on the tennis and swim teams. He attended many classes for advanced and gifted students. Early in high school, he set his mind on becoming a Navy SEAL. Then his best friend, Erik Esposito was accidentally shot and killed by another teen. James who was fifteen at the time, rushed to the side of Erik’s mother, comforting her with his faith and belief in an afterlife. After he left for studies at the University of Florida, he remained close to Erik’s mom. He called her “Mom” and he legally changed his name to James Erik, to honor his friend. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics at the University of Florida in 1999. By this time, he was considering a career in Veterinary medicine, but followed his long held dream of becoming a Navy SEAL. After basic airborne training in Georgia, and more SEAL training in Coronado and Panama City Beach, Florida, he joined SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 1, 2002. James was one of 16 Americans killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan during a mission to rescue other American troops. He was 28. His awards include the Bronze Star (with Combat V), Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Burial is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California