Honoree Daniel Stebbins
Daniel William Stebbins was born April 1966 in Auburn, New York, to Eugene and Shirley Stebbins. Eugene served in the Military, both the Navy and the Airforce. Then he became a long time factory worker, truck driver and dock foreman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 317. Shirley was an office worker for the Teamsters Union Local 529 assigned to the Columbian Rope Factory in Auburn, New York. Then, she became a dedicated housewife and mother. Daniel grew up with his older sister Eileen in a hamlet called ‘’ Half Acre’’ in Aurelius N.Y. township. Daniel graduated from Local High School in 1984. He joined Teamsters Union Local 317 as a Bulldozer track press operator at Syracuse Caterpillar Track and Roller Builders facility in Syracuse, New York.
In August 1986, Daniel joined the United States Marine Corps and attended Bootcamp at Parris Island, South Carolina, he then attended USMC Infantry Training School at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. He then Attended ‘’TOW’’ Gunners School (‘’TOW’’) = ‘’Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire Command Link Guided Missile System’’ at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. Daniel was then assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, Bravo Company, 2nd Weapons Platoon. 2nd Squad.
Daniel (PFC/Lance/Corporal) Stebbins went on numerous Combat Field exercises all around Camp Lejeune, in addition to several Combat operations on naval ships and around the world which include two Med Floats, three blue/green water work ups and a NATO Float to Norway and West Germany.
On August 2, 1990 - some 300,000 Iraqi forces and some 2,500 tanks invaded the oil rich country of Kuwait. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been making threats against Kuwait for some time, but his actual invasion caught most of the world by surprise. The magnitude of the invasion also was a surprise. Iraqi forces had seized downtown Kuwait City and annexed the entire country. They then headed south toward the Saudi Arabia border. The Iraqi forces assembled at the Saudi border and within a short time they established a fortified front line while laying millions of land mines.
On August 9, 1990 - Operation Desert Shield, the American defense of Saudi Arabia began as U.S. forces raced to the Persian Gulf. Daniel (Corporal Daniel Stebbins) was on a C-141 Star-lifter Cargo Plane and flying to Saudi Arabia. Corporal Stebbins was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, Bravo Company to assist in the elimination of enemy tanks for the Combat Engineers breaching the two land mine field belts. Corporal Stebbins was informed that he was in charge of a three man Humvee team with a roof mounted Heavy Close Combat Missile System ‘’TOW’’, This is a Hi-Tech, heavy, anti-tank/precision assault weapon system consisting of a launcher with several missiles.
On January 17, 1991 - Operation Desert Storm began with an extensive aerial bombing campaign, 3 a.m. (January 16, 7 p.m. Eastern time in the United States).
On February 23, 1991- Iraqi Forces ignited an estimated 700 oil wells in Kuwait to uncontrollably burn.
On February 24, 1991 – Commandant of the Marine Corps Alfred Gray sent a command Order to all Marine Units in the Persian Gulf Theater of operations. The Order was two words ‘’Liberate Kuwait’’.
On February 24, 1991 – The Marine ground offensive began. The 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions started to breach through two minefield belts and stormed into the teeth of the Iraqi defenses. Iraq’s Armed Forces were rapidly overwhelmed. Both mine fields were successfully breached. Corporal Stebbins and his Unit was fighting off separate attacks from Iraqi mechanized and armored units in what was called the biggest enemy tank destruction in Marine Corp history. In one fight, Corporal Stebbins, including all of Bravo Companies Humvees and ‘’TOWS’’, were roused from their sleep due to exhaustion to destroy oncoming charging tanks. Thirty-one T-62s and forty-four T-55s were put out of action or destroyed with the Counterattacks in the darkness. Iraqi Forces soon after the fight abandoned Kuwait City. After less than four days, Kuwait itself was liberated by the Marines and the majority of Iraq’s Armed Forces had either surrendered, retreated to Iraq, or have been destroyed.
February 28, 1991 - President George Bush declared Kuwait liberated, and suspended all U.S. and allied force offensive operations putting a halt to the Marine’s advancement into Iraq to fight fleeing Iraqi Forces. The Marines officially and in total, had completely decimated twenty-one Iraqi divisions, destroyed 1,143 tanks, 828 armored vehicles, and 439 artillery pieces, and taken 22,908 prisoners.
February 29, 1991 - press briefing in Riyadh, U.S. Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the allied supreme commander during the war, said: “I can’t say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like brilliant, it would really be an under-description of the absolutely superb job that they did. [It was] an absolutely superb operation, a textbook operation. It was a classic, absolutely classic, military breaching of a very, very tough minefield…. And I think it will be studied for many, many years to come as the way to do it’’.
Corporal Stebbins stayed and patrolled Kuwait City as part of a multinational peace keeping force for 13 months until he was reassigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, India Co. Camp Lejeune in April 1992.
Corporal Stebbins was discharged from the active duty Marine Corps in August 1992. He remained with the Marine Corps Reserve and stationed at Naval Air Station ‘’JAX’’ in Jacksonville Florida where he also attended college. Daniel was fully discharged from the Marine Corps in August 1994. Daniel attended the ‘’ITT’’ Technical Institute and has a BA degree in Electronics. Daniel has also attended the University of North Florida and has an AA degree in Mechanical Engineering.
In 1998, Daniel moved with his family to Hampton Bays to start his new job as a Technical Service Engineer working for a government contracting company at Plum Island and Brookhaven Labs. His continued education and training with other equipment that his company manufactured increased so that his work and area expanded to Universities, Labs, and Nuclear Facilities all across New York.
Daniel became Commander of the Hand-Aldrich Post 924, American Legion from 2003 to 2005, and is a founding member of the Post 924 American Legion Riders. Daniel also served as Suffolk County 5th Division American Legion Commander from 2006 to 2012. Daniel was also the Adjutant for the Westhampton Beach V.F.W Post 5350 from 2009 to 2021.
Daniel with his lovely and beautiful wife Rossana, have two grown sons, Marcelo and Wolfgang along with their rescued Rottweiler from West Virginia, ‘’Noris’’.