DERRY — A cause of death has not been determined for U.S. Army Ranger 1st Lt. Paul M. DeMeo, 23, of Derry, who died unexpectedly May 14 while stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.
DeMeo was serving as a rifle platoon leader for Company B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
His parents, Paul and Lucienne DeMeo, have asked for privacy.
His commander, Lt. Col. J.C. White, called DeMeo a “charismatic” leader who “cared deeply” for his fellow soldiers and left a lasting impression on them.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Air Assault Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.
A 2007 graduate of Pinkerton Academy, DeMeo participated in the school’s Junior Air Force JROTC program for four years, commanding the cadet corps during his senior year.
With the help of the AFJROTC cadre led by Lt. Col. Howie Steadman, he became more aware of the duties and responsibilities that go along with different military ranks.
“He got a small taste of what it meant to be an enlisted person and found that he wanted to take on the added challenges required of an officer,” his father Paul said.
Pinkerton observed a moment of silence in DeMeo’s memory this week and lowered flags to half-staff.
DeMeo was the first person from the school’s program to attend a U.S. military academy, in this case West Point, where he graduated in 2011. He joined the 2nd/505th in August 2012.
He was the oldest of four siblings. His twin brothers, Nathen and Pascal DeMeo, graduate this year from West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy respectively. They, too, graduated from Pinkerton Academy.
Their sister Lee is a senior pre-med student at Syracuse University.