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    Donald Turso was born on April 5, 1948 in
Port Chester, New York. He died on May 19,
1969 in South Vietnam while serving his country
in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated
from Harrison High School in Westchester
County, New York, in 1966. He also attended
Hyram Scott University in Nebraska and South
Hampton College on Long Island, New York. He
enlisted in the Marine Corps. on September 27,
1967. His tour in Vietnam started on November
22, 1968 and ended with his death. Donnie's
military occupation specialty (MOS) was
telephone technician. Donnie was a very
intelligent guy, and I'm sure that the Marine Corps. recognized this,
therefore sending him to tech school in San Diego. Donnie was on the
Harrison High School football team, and it was here in high school that
he received his nickname, "Maynard." He had a strong resemblance
(or so we all thought) to the actor Bob Denver. Denver played Maynard G.
Krebbs on the TV show Dobie Gillis. Even Donnie's high school yearbook
photo has the nickname Maynard below the photo.
    I was not Donnie's closest friend, by far.
We were high school classmates. I've always
remembered Donnie in the 37 years since his
death. I think of a life cut short and all
the things that might have been. My memory
of Donnie shall remain with me forever.
I recently discovered his gravesite and that was a pretty emotional yet
rewarding experience. His Marine Corps. friend, James Napier, and I
have put together this website to honor him. James was with Donnie in
Vietnam and he also has remembered him through these many years.
Our hope is that others, not only strangers but maybe family members
and old friends, will see our memorial to Donnie so they can also think
of him and keep his memory alive.

Anthony Amendola
It was late October of 2005 when James Napier first contacted Anthony Amendola. Both had posted
remembrances of Donald Turso on several Vietnam memorial websites. Anthony was a classmate of
Donnie's in Harrison, NY in the 60's. They graduated together from high school in 1966.
Jim served with Donnie in Vietnam. Jim's first email to Anthony began, "I knew your buddy in Vietnam."
Jim had an idea to create a tribute to Donnie on a USMC website. It turned out well, but greater access
for families and friends was needed, and the idea for this website was born.     see ...
Contact Us


Title:  Memories of Donnie through the Eyes of a Child Posted: 2006-11-03

In 1969, I was six years old. Some of the most vivid memories of my childhood were those involving my Uncle Donnie. To others, he was a decorated war hero, a son, a brother and a friend. To me, he was a source of love, joy and security. I remember him playing airplane with me and holding me above his head and flying me around. He was young and vibrant. I used to anxiously await his homecoming from college so that we could play. There was an old phonograph in the upstairs back bedroom at Hyatt Avenue that he used to listen to his Bob Dylan and Humble Pie records on. I kept his records for years. He had this thing that he used to practice his surfing techniques on. It was basically a board on a log and he would roll back and forth, practicing his balance holding me and laughing at the same time. In that same bedroom used to be what we referred to as the Kings Chair. We would sit in that chair and sing songs, he would tell me stories and I always felt very secure in his arms. That chair is still in my living room today...............................I remember helping my grandmother make care packages to send to Uncle Donnie in Vietnam. She would bake home made bread, bottle peppers and bake cookies. She would also put in sticks of pepperoni and balls of provolone cheese dipped in wax. She always showed us how much she loved us with her wonderful cooking. She continued this even when her youngest son was on the other side of the world. To this day, I often wonder if he ever received those wonderful packages from home...............................In May of 1969, I was at home with my grandmother and she was vacuuming in the back bedroom where she and my grandfather slept. It was morning and I was in the front living room watching TV. We had these big wing chairs in front of the windows. I used to stand up on those chairs and be able to look out to see the street. As I was looking out on that morning, I remember seeing a large black car pull up in front of the house and a soldier and a priest got out. They began to walk toward our front porch but before they rang the bell, I ran to the back room to tell my grandmother who was coming "to visit." As a six year old, I did not understand the significance of this event but my grandmother immediately started to cry. I never saw her cry before...............................It wasn't until many months later when I never saw my Uncle Donnie again that I realized he was never coming back. To a six year old, it was a source of sadness that I wasn't going to roll back and forth on that surfboard with him anymore. I was no longer going to feel the love and security of his arms wrapped around me as we sat in the Kings Chair. My uncle was a source of light to me and when the light went out, my childhood was no longer the same. Today, at 42 years old, I have kept many of his personal possessions. They continue to give me the sense of joy and peace that his life did when I was six..........Rhonda Turso-Perez (daughter of Donnie's brother Raymond)

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