August 25 – Happy Birthday PFC Edward Steffek

1964, PI Plt 183, Steffek, Edward Stephen_dob 8-25-1946 - 1-1-1966(Here are some excerpts from my post about this brave Amsterdam Marine.)

As hard as it is for me to believe, the first death of an Amsterdam, NY serviceman during the Vietnam War took place a half-century ago, on New Year’s Day in 1966. The young hero was Edward Steffek, a nineteen year old graduate of Amsterdam High, who grew up working on his grandfather’s farm in the Town of Florida…

…His unit was stationed in the Thua Thien Province of South Vietnam and that is where Private First Class Steffek lost his life. At the time no details about his death were published in the press but according to information now available online, his death was officially ruled….

…Ed Steffek’s boyhood buddy, “Jungle Jim” Yermas was at the ceremony and actually helped put his friend’s stone in place. Yermas told a Schenectady Gazette reporter covering the event that he and Steffek used to ride their bikes together as kids and go fishing in a pond that was located behind Steffek’s home…

…Edward Steffek would have turned 70 years-old today. We honor his memory, the supreme sacrifice he made on our behalf and thank him for his honorable and courageous service.

My complete birthday post for PFC. Steffek will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty  people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.

The monthly newsletter is free. If you’d like to receive it, just make sure your name and e-mail address are included on this list.

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