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Donato "Danny" Simiele

Donato "Danny" Simiele

United States Army
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Donato Simiele was named after his grandfather but growing up on the Southside of Amsterdam, he was Danny, the son of Molly DiCaprio Simiele. His father, Joe Simile had passed when he was just 5 years old. He graduated from Wilbur H. Lynch High School in 1964 and enrolled at Cobleskill Ag & Tech. America's military involvement in Vietnam was escalating and hundreds of thousands of young men, Danny's age, were getting drafted into the service. As the only surviving male in his family, Danny didn't have to worry about getting drafted, but he felt as if he had an obligation to serve his country. In 1966 he enlisted in the Army. After completing basic training and artillery school, Danny shipped out to Vietnam in July of 1967 for a one-year tour of duty with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He was a good soldier, earning a promotion to Sergeant. Then, just one month shy of completing his tour, Danny was mortally wounded by an exploding enemy mortar shell on June 9, 1968, during combat action in the Gia Dinh province of what was then still South Vietnam. His death came just three days after Robert Kennedy was assassinated and the continuing media coverage of the assassination sort of overshadowed the news of Danny's death. But an entire city mourned the loss of this brave and noble young man and on the Southside "Danny" suddenly became a popular name for newborn sons. Upon his death, Simiele became the 16th Amsterdam area resident to lose his life in that conflict. Unfortunately, he would not be the last.