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The Fort Myer Military Community bade a final farewell to one of its own Tuesday with a hero's salute in Arlington National Cemetery. Infantry soldier Colonel Daniel M. Shamanski, 60, FMMC commander from 1987 to 1991, died December 24, 2000, at his home in Fayetteville, Georgia.
A 35-year Army veteran, he held the elite Soldier's Medal. He was a highly decorated veteran who began his career as an enlisted soldier. Shamanski suffered from wounds he sustained in the jungles of Vietnam over a quarter of a century ago.
A native of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, Shamanski was one of those rare breed of officers called "Mustangs," that is, enlisted personnel who later become commissioned officers. In addition Shamanski was a graduate of the Jungle Warfare School, the Armed Forces Staff College, Personnel Management for Executives and the Army War College. He received his bachelor's degree from Columbus College in Columbus, Georgia.
Shamanski had various military assignments in the United States and Europe and served three tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam, all with the 1st Infantry Division. There he saw action as a platoon leader and then Company A commander with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, Company A commander with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry and later as the 1st ID assistant operations officer.
Prior to his final Army assignment as FMMC garrison commander, Shamanski was the Deputy Chief of Staff and then Chief of Staff to the post commander of the U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
For his courage in combat in the Republic of Vietnam, Shamanski was awarded seven Bronze Stars with "V" for valor, two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals and seven campaign stars on his Vietnam service ribbon.
He also held the elite Soldier's Medal (heroism at the risk of your own life while saving another's life). As a captain and company commander in Vietnam, Shamanski was sited for his heroism (not involving the enemy,) in March 1969, when he personally fought and extinguished a fire that raged near an ammunition storage site. "Ignoring the possibility of danger to himself," reads the Soldier's Medal citation, Shamanski saved equipment and civilian lives.
Shamanski received three Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbons with numeral "two," the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation.
He was also awarded the Parachutist Badge and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was entered into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame, Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1994.
Shamanski was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, of Fayetteville, three children, Daniel Shamanski, Jr., of Mableton, Ga., Jennifer Vogel, of Birmingham, Ala., and Dana Shamanski, of Nashville, Tenn., his mother, Alvina Shamanski, Voorhees, N.J., and a sister, Joan Derascavage, Cherry Hill, N.J.