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Army 1st Lt. Neil Anthony Santoriello

Died August 13, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Verona, Pa.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; killed Aug. 13 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his mounted reconnaissance patrol vehicle in Khalidiyah, Iraq.

Neil Santoriello took the initiative, and it showed. He was named an Eagle Scout in high school and helped command the Army ROTC program at his college. "You could count on him to get the job done," said Lt. Col. Mark N. Mazarella, the program's former director. Santoriello, 24, of Verona, Pa., was killed Aug. 13 when a bomb exploded near his patrol vehicle near Khalidiyah in Iraq’s Anbar province. He was assigned to Fort Riley, Kan. Santoriello had dreamed of being in the Army since fifth grade and took a step toward that goal by joining the ROTC when he entered Dickinson College. "Neil wanted to be an officer," said John Hackett, Santoriello's scoutmaster. The political science major was one of nine ROTC members selected from 150 applicants for $20,000 annual ROTC tuition scholarships at Dickinson. "I always said one day he would be a leader in our nation," Hackett said. "Now he won't get a chance to do that." Santoriello is survived by his wife, Lisa Santone Santoriello.

— Associated Press

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