Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Adrian Bonenberger ’02

In a week when the headlines were full of Congress’s repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”—led by former Yalie of the Week Joe Lieberman ’64, ’67LLB—the media spotlight also illuminated grimmer military news. “Civilians die in Afghan coalition firefight,” said one report. “Foreign troop deaths in Afghan war top 700 in 2010,” said another. And, in the New York Times, “Life and Death Decisions Weigh on Junior Officers.”

That would be Adrian Bonenberger ’02, an Army captain whom the Times initially profiled last summer as the US “surge” in Afghanistan began. Now, in a 4,100-word front-page feature, the newspaper details a mission that Bonenberger planned and led, but that went seriously awry.

An English lit major who protested the Bush administration’s build-up to the Iraq war in 2003, Bonenberger joined the Army less than three years later and now commands Alpha Company, First Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. Despite the “For God, for Country and for Yale” banner over his desk, and what one of his soldiers described as “the dark relish of mayhem” in Bonenberger’s eyes, the captain is unsure whether he will stay in the military when his contract is up next year. “I’m getting pretty well tired of seeing dead bodies, that’s for sure.”

The Yale Alumni Magazine is closed for winter recess. The next Yalie of the Week will appear on January 7, 2011.

Filed under military, legislation
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