Going-away party for Jonathan DeMarco

Family, friends send Army recruit to boot camp in style

Brooklyn Daily
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Bye, Grandma: Jonathan DeMarco gives his grandma Nonna Dinapoli a big kiss at his going-away party.
Bear hug: Robert DiPeri gives his stepson a big hug.
Friends forever: Jonathan DeMarco (second from right) hangs out one last time with friends (from left) Christian Delluomo, Nidal Abuadi, and Steven Basic before heading off to boot camp.
Bon Voyage: Claudia DiPeri raises a glass to her son during the party.
Give ‘em hell: Brian DeMarco gives his son a last-minute pep talk before Jonathan leaves for the Army.

What can you say to a young Brooklyn man who’s shipping out to boot camp? Surprise!

Family and friends of 19-year-old Jonathan DeMarco held a surprise going-away party at the Knights of Columbus building on Nostrand Avenue in Marine Park on Aug. 11, sending off the new recruit with love, hugs, and an unexpected celebration in his honor.

“We got him pretty good,” said Christian Delluomo, who has been friends with DeMarco since they were in the fifth grade. “He had no idea.”

DeMarco’s family organized the surprise bash as a righteous send off — the recruit ships off to boot camp in Fort Benning, Ga., on Aug. 21.

There, he’ll have to endure the US Army’s grueling 10-week basic combat training, before being inducted in the general infantry.

He can’t wait.

“I’m actually looking forward to it,” he said. “I want to get through it and start my career.”

DeMarco said that more than anything, he joined the armed services to challenge himself, and push his limits.

“It’s just something I always wanted to do. I like pushing my limits,” said DeMarco.

His mother, Claudia DiPeri, just hopes he stays safe.

“I’m proud of my son and whatever he does. I just hope he hurries home,” she said.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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