Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A mother remembers her caring son



Editor’s Note: Home and Away is an ongoing initiative to honor the men and women worldwide who died while serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. You can learn more about the project here.



Pfc. Paul Orazio Cuzzupe wasn’t the kind of man you’d picture wearing combat boots and aiming a machine gun. The 23-year-old soldier, nicknamed “carebear” by his comrades, was more the type to comfort a wounded soldier with a song or a smile.


Annette Kirk, his mother, remembers him as a musician and a loving son who cared for everyone, especially the children in his family. “Becoming a combat medic seemed fitting to his personality,“ she wrote in his Home and Away tribute.


Cuzzupe was killed by a roadside bomb in Akhtar-Mohammad-Khan, Afghanistan, on August 8, 2010. He sustained severe wounds due to the attack and could not be saved.


“It's so sad to have such a beautiful young man, who shared so much of his life, leave us at the young age of 23,” his mother said. “Paul left us to be with other brave soldiers who gave their lives so we can all enjoy the freedoms we are accustomed to. He is truly my hero.”


Kirk shared photos of her son and a song on iReport called “Rebirth” that he wrote before he was deployed to Afghanistan. The youthful, catchy song and snapshots show a young man who had a life ahead of him and so much to share.


As a mother of four, Kirk admired her son’s ability to be supportive of his family and still sacrifice himself for them as well as his country. “These men and women believe in something that not everyone understands, they are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom that we all enjoy and sometimes take for granted,” she said.


If you lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, or know someone who has, please submit your tributes through the Home and Away page. Click on the Afghanistan or Iraq tabs and search for his or her name. From there, you can submit your photos, videos and memories. We look forward to adding your tribute to this very special project.

November 17, 2010
Click to view banditz's profile

CNN, what is a "solider"?

November 17, 2010
Click to view annohlord's profile

Thanks for posting something worth reading....kind wishes and blessings for this young man and his family...thank you...

November 17, 2010
Click to view codaeb1's profile

Awesome story, soldier, and person!

November 17, 2010
Click to view groovethang's profile

Can't imagine losing a child...

November 17, 2010
Click to view flybo's profile

great story thx... great young man

November 17, 2010
Click to view katie's profile

@banditz Whoops! Thanks for catching that typo. It's fixed.

November 17, 2010
Click to view QuietProfi's profile

Frater Sine Pari.

November 17, 2010
Click to view dontnomuch's profile

Thanks for this post, it's an honor to have met this young man through your words.

My thanks, condolences, and prayers to Paul's family.

November 17, 2010
Click to view TracyP's profile

Love and prayers to all of our service people!

November 17, 2010
Click to view ROCKWOOD's profile

Thanks for the story.  I'm sorry for the loss and the sacrifice he and your family have made for all of us at home.

November 17, 2010
Click to view BBG123's profile

So sad to lose someone so young and full of life. Sing on soldier!

November 17, 2010
Click to view EMT420's profile

I hate reading stories like this. The world would have been a better place with Pfc. Paul Orazio Cuzzupe in it. No one will ever convince me that this stupid war is worth the cost of all the young lives we've thrown away in it.

November 17, 2010
Click to view mazzione's profile

I agree fully with EMT420. Even the ones that make it back have a long journey back to their physical and mental recovery. It's just a sad situation all together....

November 17, 2010
Click to view junoman973's profile

This the saddest thing ever, anytime I see how young all these soldiers are. War is horrible and we need to as country do all possible to prevent it.

November 17, 2010
Click to view pinkNC86's profile

"These men and women believe in something that not everyone understands"


So true. Every soldier is a hero, no matter what role they play. This lost soul will always be remembered and honored. RIP brave soldier, this grateful American salutes you

November 17, 2010
Click to view indione's profile

@EMT420 and others of his ilk...so why do you read these stories if you hate them?  Who are you to diminish a Mother's tribute to her son?  She is not trying to convince you of anything, no one is.  These men and women die for you even though you dont support them. 


The loss of a child is probably one of the hardest things a parent can face.  This Mother supported and believed in what her son was doing, as did he. 


And may I ask you...please name a time in history or present time when there has not been a war on this earth.  Someone always wants what someone else has.  Doesn't mean its right, just means its human nature. 

November 17, 2010
Click to view shhh's profile

My heart goes out to his mom and family. His death shall not be for nothing. Many of us true Americans salute to him and will always honor bravery such as he displayed. He was out there fighting a greater evil, so we can be safe on our soil. Thank you! Thank you!  You will not be forgotten.

November 17, 2010
Click to view echase's profile

I cant imagine losing a child.  Its hard to fight for the freedom of others when they dont fight for themselves.   



November 17, 2010
Click to view snailspace's profile

Sorry, shhh and indione, I am a "true American," and I agree with EMT420. By the way, EMT didn't say Paul's death was for nothing or that his life was wasted. He said that a great person's life was cut much too short, and that is the simple truth. Many true Americans question the worth of this war, and many question whether this war is making us any safer.

November 17, 2010
Click to view EMT420's profile

@snailspace: You got it exactly.

November 17, 2010
Click to view Rlmnt's profile

The life of a soldier is one of unknown. Any day. Any hour. Any place in the world he/she can be in harms way. It's an under paid and sometimes taken for granite career that we have come to depend on for our own security and freedom. The public may wavier its support of the war but let us not lose respect nor our support for the troops, who sacrifice for our way of life or in defense of our allies. This young man and others like him should not be forgotten or simply put to rest in the annals of military history. They are deserving of our recognition and rememberance. Rest well PFC Cuzzupe your fight is over and a nation morns your lost.   Vet'72

November 17, 2010
Click to view Ian345's profile

All soldiers carry an extraordinary sense of humor and compassion, but most choose to share it only with their own kind. Wish I could have met you and cracked a few beers and a few jokes. RIP.

November 17, 2010
Click to view opinion8er's profile

Tragic loss. Looking back it seems like my life was just starting at 23. I would have been proud to call this young man my son.

November 17, 2010
Click to view Buttersnap7's profile

This is sad.  GOD bless his soul and may he sing wit the angels now.


It's time to stop this war.  All of this death over what?  rich minerals in Afghanistan.  Our soldiers could be better utilized on the border.

November 17, 2010
Click to view StellaPearl's profile

As a mother of an airman who served two tours and volunteered for them so another airman with family could stay home, I mourn the loss of PFC Cuzzupe and offer blessings to his mother.  These men and women volunteer to serve their country and are well aware they face dangers and even death.  I was so upset when my son volunteered to take another's place, though proud too.  I do not have a military mindset but I understand the underlying motivations of these sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers.  Just as some are born runners or artists or recluses, these people are born with courage and bravery and the wish to serve.  God bless them and hold them in His hand.

Bravery doesn't mean you aren't scared, it means you go anyway.

November 17, 2010
Click to view swampfox09's profile

it's uplifting to see a story of a young man who sincerely cared about others but sad that this young man lost his life at such a young age.......People think that a medic in the service is a safe job but if you ask any Soldier or Marine they will tell you it's about the most dangerous job on the battlefield. Their weapon is a medics bag and not a m-16

November 17, 2010
Click to view Armamentdog's profile

I would like to let you all know that nobody likes war, but you should all be thanking all the Soldiers for giving you the freedom of speech you have.  I have lost friends already and I say this for myself and them; You’re Welcome, for making sure that you keep your freedoms.  Please don’t make any of our losses be for nothing, let us finish to honor them all.  To my fellow Soldiers; God Bless.

November 17, 2010
Click to view paulsma1286's profile

I am so glad that people have found my son's life interesting. Paul was loved by so many people and I am blessed to have had what time I did with him. He inspired so many young people, not only by his music, but his leadership within the church and community. His compassionate soul is one that all people could learn from. Coming from a military family, Paul knew from an early age that he would end up in a dangerous place, yet it did not stop him from enlisting in the Army. He felt that this was his destiny...call it a premonition, look at the picture in the blog. RIP Paul, Forever in my heart, forever my hero

November 29, 2010
Click to view BFHirleman's profile

Thankfully some people understand that it takes alot more Honor and Courage to put the State and People above their own lives. Those who have and who will unfortunately sacrifice their lives in the Service of their country deserve more than just memorials and tributes and thanks. They deserve the world they left behind for us to shape in their absence and due to their sacrifice into a better place where mother's sons and daughters, husbands, uncles, cousins, in laws, never have to pay the same price in the same place ever again. There is one piece of rather morbid wisdom I've always found to hold true from Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One: A squad of US 1st Infantry Division men comes upon a WW1 memorial in the fields of WW2 France: "See how fast they put up a memorial with the names of all our guys?" Says one of them. "That's a WW1 Memorial" Says the Sergeant. "The names are the same" says another rifleman, "they always are." Says the Sergeant. So to those in uniform and those they leave behind: "Semper Fidelis! and May We Never Forget."

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