Fallen: November 5, 2010
Sergeant Michael F. Paranzino of Middletown, RI was assigned to 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY. He became a hero on Nov. 5, 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
Michael Paranzino was a serious weightlifter who joked that his extra-large T-shirts were too small to contain his muscles. “He was so strong,” recalls his mother. The Rhode Island native, born in Newport and raised in Middletown, grew up in the St. Lucy’s Parish community. He made two humanitarian trips to Nicaragua while still in high school.
Paranzino graduated from Middletown High School in 2006. He joined the Army a year later and became a cavalry scout. His comrades called him “Zino.”
The 22-year-old husband and father of two was serving in Afghanistan near Kandahar on Nov. 5 when he was killed in a bombing. He was assigned to Fort Drum, N.Y.
Friends and family members said Paranzino had a larger-than-life personality. They said he was quick with a laugh, always willing to take the lead, and popular with fellow soldiers and Afghan children.