LEVITTOWN, NY, USA U.S. Army SPC, COMPANY D, 1ST BATTALION, 28TH INFANTRY, FORT RILEY, KS BAGHDAD, IRAQ 04/06/2007
Daniel Armando Fuentes was born on 27 July 1987 to Nancy and Armando Fuentes. Their immediate family would grow to include younger siblings, brother Julio, and sister Tatyana. Danny was a happy, outgoing young man who was well known in his hometown of Levittown, NY. He enjoyed good food and grew particularly fond of seviche, citrus-marinated seafood, and a tomato, vodka, and cream pasta dish known as penne a la vodka.
Danny attended Island Trees High School where he was an avid wrestler. His coach, Damian Garcia, and teammates remember that he always put the welfare of the team before his own. He enlisted in the Army in 2005, just three months after graduation but always maintained close ties with his alma mater. Social worker Susan Lyons said he would even return for visits to the school when home from the Army on leave. “In fact, he came to visit just two weeks before he was deployed to Iraq in February,” Susan Lyons said. “He was the best of the best; a hardworking, never give up kind of guy. He never had a bad word to say about anybody. He had this smile that lit up a room.”
It was also at Island Trees High that Danny met his fiancée, Emma McGarry. The two planned to marry after he returned from deployment in August 2008. Danny and Emma were ecstatic when she became pregnant. “Before he went to Iraq he broke down on the phone,” Emma said. “He told me, ‘I’m going, but at least you have something if anything happens to me,'” referring to the baby. Emma planed to name the boy Daniel Johathan.
Pfc. Daniel A. Fuentes was a member of the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division – the “Black Lions.” He arrived in Iraq on 19 February 2007. Danny took advantage of technology to stay in touch with family back in New York. Hardly a day passed without an email, instant message (IM), or phone call. “After a mission into Baghdad, instead of going to eat or taking a shower, he would go online or call to let us know he was OK,” said his mother, Nancy Fuentes.
Just 2 months into his first deployment, the messages home ceased. An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his vehicle and mortally wounded him. Daniel A. Fuentes was only 19 when he died on April 6 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq. Danny’s legacy of helping others lives on. The Specialist Daniel A. Fuentes Memorial Scholarship Fund will help ensure that other Island Trees “Bulldogs” get the opportunity for a college education.