Obituary: Connecticut Veteran John Puzzo
Reprinted from: Ameriborn News
Written by: Juliana Simone
July 11, 2015
Plainville, CT It is with great sadness Ameriborn News Network has to publish this obituary for Hartford native John Puzzo. He had many titles. He was last perceived as an insurance and investment professional, but this was a minor view of the great man who served his country. Though he dedicated seventeen years to his work as a financial advisor with many well-known companies, such as Aetna, Citigroup and AMEX, to those who knew him, he was a seasoned Army veteran who participated in counter terrorism operations and the global war on terror.
He spent three years under the designation High Threat Personal Protection Officer and security consultant and included on his background on LinkedIn the designation of ANTI-TERRORST OPERATIONS, Iraq: Armed Personal Security Escort in High Threat, non-permissive Areas, Force Protection Operations, Residential and Installation Security Operations, Emergency and Contingency Response, Surveillance/Counter Surveillance Operations.
His professional profile also included this on LinkedIn:
Contractor; Counter Terrorism Operations; High threat Personal Security Officer
US Department of Defense
July 2004 November 2007 (3 years 5 months) Iraq; USA.
Private Military Contractor, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Global War On Terror; GS-12 (O-4) Rating
RANGER; Artilleryman, Infantryman, Combat Engineer, US Army
November 1968 August 1971 (2 years 10 months) Republic of Viet Nam
Served in Viet Nam as Long Range Patrol team member and sniper with Company K (RANGER), 75th Infantry (Airborne), and as an artillery Forward Observer to the Infantry, an Infantryman and a Combat Engineer with the 4th Infantry Division.
John was also an author of two books Vietnam and Hollywood and K75th Rangers: The Highlanders. He was a guest and commentator on politics and the Middle East. He appeared CNN and ABC among other broadcasts to share his insights on Iraq, terrorism and what the United States of America needs to do to combat this threat which is still active today. John’s views can be heard here, in an exceptional hour and a half long interview on blog talk radio:
There was a sensitive side to this great man, as well, where he spent time as a published writer, photographer and poet. Forty images of John’s can be seen at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. A poem he also chose to share on his profile on LinkedIn reads as follows:
Out there in the sea, with others of his kind
he looks back at you,
still there, on the shore, with your feet in the sand.
You are the last thing he sees, too.
They share something very precious
in the sea of sacrifice where they live now.
This ocean will never die.
It will keep sending them back to us
Fluid in four languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese) and conversational Arabic, he was an educated man, with a BA from UCONN and studies at Yale University, the Sorbonne in Paris, Boston University, the Art Institute of Boston and the University of the Americas in South America. He added a Master’s Degree in National Security Policy Studies from the University of New Haven in 2015.
Like many accomplished men from an older era, John was a modest man. He did not boast about any of these achievements when one was in his company. This author has to say probably half of this is news to me. Ameriborn News Network’s William Landers and Juliana Simone, were privileged to share Thanksgiving Dinner with John and his wonderful son John at his home in Plainville in 2010. He was a gracious host who gave us many hours of entertaining conversation that showed his intelligence, humor, wit, valor, compassion, sophistication, concerns and integrity. Most of all, he radiated what a unique individual he was in terms of humankind. His children John and Sarah lost a fine father. The world and America has lost a great soldier, and all of us who knew John lost a very special life, indeed.
The last time I saw John was outside of a restaurant in Plainville where Fifth Congressional Republican candidate Justin Bernier was running for a second time in a crowded field that included State Senator Andrew Roraback, Mark Greenberg also running for a second time and Lisa Wilson Foley. Trying to cover such a large group on the night of the primary for final comments from everyone on the ballot, I rushed past him in my haste. He called out to me, and asked, Juliana, you don’t have time for an old friend? I quickly turned and saw John. It was so moving to see him. I rushed over to him and gave him a hug. He reminded me that he had to walk over to the event but still wanted to watch what was going on. We chatted for a few minutes.
If I’d known that was going to be the last time I saw him, I would have called it a night and gone and shared a glass of wine with him. Not that the politics on hand weren’t important they were but it was pretty clear who was going to win the primary despite Justin and Mark’s being fine contenders. But as it always is in life, when suddenly someone is gone, you wish they were still here, and that you could have had more time, or even one more moment to tell them so. Looking through our email exchanges yesterday and this evening, I saw one of John’s final sentences to me: You are always welcome here. Thank you, John.
Messages from John’s Ranger Brothers:
I was saddened to hear of the passing of John Puzzo. I didn’t remember him from Vietnam but I got to learn of his life since I retired and began using the internet to search for information about my former comrades.
I have been seeking him out without success for the past year. His philosophy, politics and patriotism was so much like that of my own. I believed that he was only a 2 hour drive from my home in NY. I so wanted to meet him to discuss both the history and the future of our great country. Sadly, I will never have that opportunity now.
He left his mark upon this earth and our history. Now it is up to us to go forward without him but on the same mission.
Charles Weidner, R-28
July 14, 2015