Paul was born at
in the Marshall
Islands. He was
a 2007 graduate
High School and
a 2011 graduate
of West Point,
joined the 2nd Battalion/505th in
Paul is remembered by his parents, Paul and
Lucienne DeMeo, as being "a prince who God
called back to His kingdom. “Paul was a charming
person who always looked out for his brothers
and sisters," his mother Lucienne said. "As an
Army officer, Paul looked out for his troops as
if they were family."
"He was humble and always driven to do better,"
she said. "He had the most beautiful smile."
Paul played flute and piano. He joined the
Kwajalein swim team at age 4 and held pool
records at Kwajalein. In high school, he
participated in several national young leaders
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 U.S.
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. He 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
Paul decided to join the military while he was
still living on Kwajalein, his parents said.
"Being born on and living on a military
installation in a foreign country until he was
13, the military was the lifestyle he knew," his
father Paul said.
Within a few months of moving to Derry, Paul
joined the Air Force Junior ROTC at Pinkerton
Academy. With the help of the AFJROTC 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.
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 was the first cadet from
the JROTC program to graduate from a service
academy," said Lt. Col. Howie Steadman, one of
the program's instructors. "Unfortunately, he
was also the first cadet from the program to die
while on active duty." "Paul came to us as a
young man in the fall of 2004 as a freshman and
first year cadet in the JROTC program and he
graduated from the program in 2007," said
Steadman. "Over the four years, it was pretty
easy to recognize how sharp he was and that he
was a leader."
Paul quickly progressed through the ranks and
was eventually selected by the instructors as
the Cadet Commander. “That is the highest rank
in the cadets," said Steadman. "At the time,
there were 200 cadets, so he was at the top of
those 200 within the program." Paul would
quickly and easily tackle any task, according to
Steadman. “He was loyal and respectful and all
of those other good adjectives that you could
think of," he said.
Paul’s two younger twin brothers, Pascel and
Nathen kept up the family's tradition of
military service; both entered service academies
after graduating from Pinkerton Academy.
Nathen graduated from West Point
this year (2013). "Unfortunately,
Paul was supposed to pin his rank on him, but
that isn't going happen now.", Steadman said.
Pascel entered the U.S. Naval Academy, and is
also scheduled to graduate this May.
Steadman said the DeMeo’s parents, Paul and
Lucienne, have been ardent supporters of the
JROTC program. Over the years, Steadman has had
a close relationship with all the members of the
DeMeo family; he played a role in Paul's
graduation from West Point in 2011.
"I went to his graduation to pin his lieutenant
rank on one shoulder while his parents pinned
the other shoulder," said Steadman. Steadman
said the JROTC program will take steps to
memorialize DeMeo's life and service next year.
"Paul had such a bright future; he had the
potential to be a general," Steadman said. "In
reality, that can't happen, but in my mind, he
will be a general."
Paul joined the 2nd
Infrantry 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, he 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.
Among his near-term goals, Paul wanted to earn
the Expert Infantry Badge, graduate from the
U.S. Army Jumpmaster School, successfully
complete his duties as a platoon leader and earn
assignment to the 75th Ranger Regiment. He was
also planning to attend graduate school.
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
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. 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, N.C.; his paternal
grandfather, Paul J. DeMeo of Newton, Mass.; his
maternal grandmother, Amonia Valbrun of Derry;
as well as many extended family.