EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 21, 2013

Military remains mum on Derry soldier's death

By Doug Ireland

---- — DERRY — The U.S. Army continues to investigate the death of a 23-year-old paratrooper from Derry, but did not release details on how he died.

The military announced Saturday that 1st Lt. Paul DeMeo, a 2007 Pinkerton Academy graduate, died May 14 at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

The Army released little information about DeMeo other than describing how he rose through the ranks after joining the military.

DeMeo was a platoon leader assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Capt. Douglas Ray, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, said yesterday he could not comment on DeMeo’s death because it remained under investigation.

“We don’t have anything more we can release at this time,” Ray said.

He did not know when more information would be available.

Charles Porter of the Pinkerton ROTC program spoke fondly of DeMeo on Sunday while attending the dedication of a veterans monument at Pinkerton.

“This is a big loss,” Porter said.

He recalled DeMeo’s eagerness to join the military and how he enjoyed a senior class trip the students took to West Point.

“He was really impressed with West Point,” Porter said. “He fell in love with it.”

Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill said the school held a moment of silence and lowered the American flag to half staff when it learned of DeMeo’s death.

DeMeo was the first of three brothers to enter military academies on full scholarships after graduating from Pinkerton. His twin brothers, Pascal and Nathen, were members of the Class of 2011.

Calling hours will be held on May 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. There will be a Liturgy of Christian Burial May 29 at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas, 3 Moody St., Derry.

DeMeo will be buried the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Junior ROTC Program, Pinkerton Academy, 5 Pinkerton St., Derry, 03038.

Staff writer Julie Huss contributed to this report.