Stanley Marcel Staszak
Army of the United States
Rockaway, New Jersey
March 05, 1920 to April 04, 1959
STANLEY M STASZAK is on the Wall at Panel 19E, Line 7

Stanley M Staszak
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During the Vietnam War there was no overriding reason to keep close track of names of the men and women who died as a result of military service in the war zone. A decade after the withdrawal of US forces, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was approved for construction. The service branches went back through their records to identify our dead by name.

Inevitably some men who should have been named on the "Wall" were not. Over the years additional names have been inscribed on the Wall - some were men who died after the war as a result of wounds received in the war, and others were men whose names were overlooked in earlier years.

The name Stanley Marcel Staszak is not yet on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, but has been approved to be added around Memorial Day, 2015.

Stanley Marcell Staszak grew up in the farming community around Chatham, New Jersey. Classmates from high school recalled that his personal circumstances required him to work along side his father in the dairy business, he was an exceptionally good student. He had a good sense of humor and made solid enduring friendships. These same attibutes remained with him as a cadet.

After graduation from Chatham High School, he enlisted in the United States Army with the goal of getting an appointment to West Point. He reached his goal in 1940 when he was appointed to the United States Military Academy from the Regular Army 33rd Infantry in Panama.

He thoroughly enjoyed cadet life but he looked forward to his future career as an officer. He was proud of his enlisted service, and easily absorbed the tactical training and was especially impressed by the power and mobility of Armor and that was his chosen branch at graduation.

Following graduation and Armor Branch training, he was assigned to the Reconnaissance Squadron of the 16th Armored Division. The 16th entered combat very late in the European theatre but he still got the taste of armored combat that he had eagerly sought. At the end of the war, he remained in Germany as an intelligence officer with the 1st Infantry Division where he developed a new interest in intel operations that influenced his later career.

Returning to the states, he became a Regular Army instructor to the 50th Reconnaissance Squadron of the New Jersey National Guard where he met his future wife, Eileen Curran. After completing the Advanced Armor Officers Course at Fort Knox he was selected for attaché duty - another coveted assignment. After he completed intensive language and intelligence training he and Eileen moved to Yugoslavia where he joined the embassy staff as Assistant Army Attaché.

At the end of his tour he went to Fort Hood, Texas for additional troop duty with the follow on assignment as a member of the United States Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Vietnam and was assigned to the Vietnamese National Military Academy (VNMA). His group's mission was to model the VNMA after the United States Military Academy. He was one of 6 USMA grads sent to Vietnam to be advisors.

Eileen and their two children, Christopher and Stephanie joined him in Vietnam - one of the only two families allowed to accompany the assigned USMA grads to Vietnam. Due to their limited numbers and isolated location the VNMA, advisory officers and their families became a close knit group. Therefore, it was a shock to everyone in the group and their Vietnamese counterparts when Stanley died unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 39, apparantly from a cerebral hemorrhage. Tragically, a dedicated soldier had come to rest before fulfilling his military career.

His remains were returned to West Point and services were held at the Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity on April 22. The Honorary pallbearers were all men who had served with Major Staszak or knew him from the academy. Many other classmates and wives attended the funeral. Stan was buried next to Al Brown, another one of the Class of 43 graduates. The sadness of his sudden death was recalled by those who knew the family when Eileen followed him when she passed away 13 years later on 30 April 1972.

The final entry in the Assembly Magazine, United States Military Academy Library Archives, September 1991, notes: "Stanley Marcell Staszak lies in the earth of the Nation and the institution that he loved so well; let it be said that no man tried harder in life to do his best." The Staszaks are in Section VII, Site 32, of the United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, New York.

Stanley M Staszak Stanley M Staszak
- - The Virtual Wall, July 10, 2014

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