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Veteran Waited 60 Years for a Special Delivery

Portland Press Herald

Veteran Waited 60 Years for a Special Delivery

Rocco Gedaro (Portland Press Herald)Veteran Rocco Gedaro, 87, of South Portland, Maine, worked as “a special delivery driver for the Portland post office and delivered packages to homes in the Portland area for more than 30 years,” according to the obituary written by Melanie Creamer, a staff writer with the Press Herald.

But he had to wait nearly 60 years to receive his sergeant stripes, acknowledging the promotion he was given while serving with the Army’s 90th Infantry Division, Company C 357 Regiment, in Europe during World War II.

At some point during the war, Mr. Gedaro got promoted, Creamer wrote. But he never got his sergeant stripes. That is until September of 2002. Among 30 or so of his relatives and closest friends, then Pvt. Gedaro, was formally promoted to Staff Sgt. Rocco Gedaro.

“He never thought he would get his stripes,” said his daughter Theresa Gedaro-Fox of Cape Elizabeth, thinking back to that day. “He was totally shocked. He was speechless. He had tears in his eyes. It truly meant everything to him.”

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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She was the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers before she passed away in 2015.