OP-ED: Not All War Casualties Are Immediate

By Mike Rossi

FRAMINGHAM It is quite an honor to speak before you today.

Today I would like to share a personal story of two kids growing up in Framingham and Natick over 50 years ago.

Paul Curtis Demeo was a friend of mine growing up. However, we lived in different towns. I lived on Bishop Street and Paul lived on Howe Street in Natick.

Our houses were a block from each other but we went to different schools.

We shared a friendship for over 50 years.

I remember we used to go to the Framingham Post Office, because that is where the military recruiters were and they would give out free great bookcovers, representing the various organizations. My favorite was the US Navy. Paul like the US Army. These covers were much better than using cut up paper bags.

I guess we were destined to enter the service after high school. I chose the US Navy, and Paul the US Army.

We would write each other letters to keep in touch.

I spent much of my time in the Gulf of Tonkin and Paul was deployed inland as a CB.

We both got out a year apart and shared a rented apartment as early on as I pursued a degree and Paul jumped into the workforce. He was an amazing
carpenter.

Over the years, we stayed close, sharing family and friends.

Paul is the godfather of my daughter Laura and would take her on his Harley for a ride, much to the chagrin of my wife Debra, but Paul never wavered.

We still have the amazing dollhouse he built for her at the cape and brought it to Framingham in pieces and reassembled it in our backyard.

Paul would volunteer his time at Dream Day at Nickerson Street park by
rehabbing the cottages used for disabled children and their families.

Paul lost his battle with brain cancer over 3 ½ years ago. This was attributed to agent orange which was used extensively in Vietnam.

If he was still here he would be participating in the Rolling Thunder event going with a group to Washington DC to honor Veterans, as he did for many years.

We miss him dearly, but this story resonates across this great country and across all the wars and conflicts over time.

There are the casualties which are immediate, and some which can last a lifetime.

My hope today is that we think about those who have made sacrifices for our country, and if we cannot thank them then say a prayer.

God Bless America. Thank you.

District 6 City Councilor Mike Rossi read this at the City of Framingham Memorial Day ceremony today, May 27 at Nevins Hall in the Memorial Building.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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