Chenango Stories: Joe Binelli

A newspaper article once said Joseph Binelli soared to new heights of honor. Although back in 1957, the honor was for his efforts and accomplishments while playing sports in high school. His name will appear again today for his lifelong efforts as a father, a serviceman and a friend to many, for which he is honored for all he did.

Binelli has been known as a champion, a pole vault king, an officer, a captain and for one of his greatest achievements as a loving father.

Joseph Binelli was born Nov. 13, 1939. Upon graduation from Norwich High School in 1957, Binelli had participated in track and field and wrestling with great achievement, setting new record heights and often pinning opponents in just over a minute.

After graduation, he joined the Army where he would serve the country for 30 years throughout following decades.

A year after joining, Binelli got married and subsequently had three sons Michael, Gregory and Brian. He attended officer candidate school and graduated with honors in 1964. For the first part of his military career, Binelli served in intelligence, first as a second lieutenant then as a company executive officer when he was deployed to Viet Nam.

He worked aerial reconnaissance missions and attended linguist school for nine months where he became fluent in Romanian. He was a translator / interpreter with the Romanian people throughout his time overseas.

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