MIDDLETOWN, RI, US
SGT, TROOP B, 1ST SQUADRON, 71ST CAVALRY REGIMENT, 1 BCT, FORT DRUM, NY
11/05/2010, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
Sergeant Michael F. Parazino was killed in Kandahar by an improvised explosive device on November 5, 2010. The Newport, and Middleton, Rhode Island soldier was twenty-two years old. The decorated soldier had been a cavalry scout with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. He had been in Afghanistan since March, after serving a tour in Iraq.
Michael was a 2006 graduate of Middletown High School. A year after his graduation he enlisted in the Army and was a cavalry scout with the 1st Squadron, 71st Calvary Regiment. After his basic training he was stationed at Fort Drum in 2008 and was deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom just a few months later. In 2010 Michael was sent to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom. He was recognized with more than 10 decorations for his military service just after three-plus years, including the Army Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
During high school, Michael did some wrestling and was also a good archer. He didn’t want to go to college right away and explored other options, such as working at a tent company and toiling on fishing boats. Ultimately he decided to volunteer for the military. “He said, ‘I don’t want to be a nobody and hang around here. I want to make something of my life,’ ” his father recalled.
He grew up in the St. Lucy’s Parish community where he was baptized, participated in CCD classes and was confirmed. While he was a student at Middletown High School, Michael made trips to Nicaragua in January of 2005 and 2006 with the Northeast Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (NEVOSH) to provide humanitarian support to the disadvantaged and poor in Catarina and Nandasmo, Nicaragua. These trips provided life-expanding experiences for Michael and were the precursor to many of the values he believed in along with the leadership skills that he displayed as an Army Sergeant.
He is survived by his wife and his two sons of Fort Drum, NY, his parents and his brother of Middletown, RI. Sgt. Michael F. Paranzino, a decorated soldier, had been a cavalry scout with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. His family saw him two weeks ago, when he was home in Middletown on leave.