1 st Lt. Paul M. DeMeo

U.S. Army Ranger 1st Lt. Paul M. DeMeo, 23, of Derry, N.H. died unexpectedly May 14 while stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Paul was serving as a rifle platoon leader for Company B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Born at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands on Oct. 1, 1989, Paul was a 2011 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management. He was a 2007 graduate of Pinkerton High School. He joined the 2nd/505th in August 2012. Paul was a 2012 graduate of the Infantry Officer Leadership Basic Course, U.S. Army Ranger School and U.S. Army Airborne School. In his current assignment as a rifle platoon leader, Paul was responsible for leading an airborne infantry platoon capable of deploying in 18 hours to fight and win against a determined enemy. He was responsible for the health, welfare and performance of 38 paratroopers; as well as the care and accountability of more than $500,000 worth of unit equipment.

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. Paul decided to join the military while he was still living on Kwajalein. Within a few months of moving to Derry, Paul joined the Air Force Junior ROTC at Pinkerton Academy. He was a member of the AFJROTC drill team, the Cadet Commander during his senior year at Pinkerton, and received many local and national AFJROTC awards.

Paul played flute and piano. He joined the Kwajalein swim team at age 4 and held pool records at Kwajalein. While in high school, he participated in several national young leaders conferences. He was an active member of the Kwajalein Tennis Club and by the age of 8 was playing in tournaments including being on the youth team that played the Micronesian Cup at the US Embassy Tennis Courts in Majuro, the capital of the RMI. His performance was good enough that representatives of the RMI government asked him to play for the RMI in the Olympics. He declined feeling that he was too young and didn't think he was in the same class as the older people he would be competing against. In a tournament on Kwajalein, he played to a tie breaker that seemed like it would go on forever forcing the seasoned adults to pull out rule books trying to figure out how a tie breaker was supposed to be played since no one had ever seen one. After the tie breaker, several of the better adult players started asking Paul to play with them.

One summer while at West Point Paul was sent to England to participate in the final field exercises for the graduating class of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Paul also participated in the Sandhurst competition at West Point every year while he was at West Point. During the force on force phase, his Plebe year, members of the “bad guys” said Paul was considered the key person on his team to be taken down. They didn't get him.

Paul was the oldest of four siblings. His twin brothers, Nathen and Pascal DeMeo, will graduate from West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy respectively. His sister Lee is a senior pre-med student at Syracuse University.
In addition to his parents of Derry; he is survived by his twin brothers, Nathen A. DeMeo, and Pascal J. DeMeo both of Derry; his sister, Danya Aleesa DeMeo of Derry; his girlfriend, Hannah Farmer of Charlotte, NC; his paternal grandfather, Paul J. DeMeo of Newton, MA; his maternal grandmother, Amonia Valbrun of Derry; as well as many extended family.
Calling hours were held on Tuesday, May 28th from 4 - 8pm in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. A Liturgy of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, May 29th at 10:00am in the St. Thomas Aquinas Center, 3 Moody St., Derry. The burial followed in the NH State Veterans Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Hwy., Boscawen, NH. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Junior ROTC Program, Pinkerton Academy, 5 Pinkerton St., Derry, NH 03038.
Peabody Funeral Homes
Derry and Londonderry, NH