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A mother speaks of her pain

   In many ways, Lori Silveri has been the forgotten person in the long, painful saga involving her late son, Jonathon M. Cote.

   Cote, a former Army paratrooper working as a private security guard, was abducted in Iraq in November 2006. His body was identified and returned to the United States last week.

   Cote is formerly from Amherst, and many of his relatives … including his father, Francis L. Cote … still live in Amherst. Silveri, who was divorced from Francis Cote in 2001, now lives in Florida.

   Francis Cote has been the family's eloquent chief spokesman for the past 18 months. Until Tuesday, when she spoke to The Buffalo News in a two-hour interview, not much had been heard from Silveri.

   A former Circulation Department employee of The News, Silveri said her son's death has given her a whole new perspective on the Iraq War and the role that private security contractors play in the war.

   What does she think of the Iraq War? She has mixed feelings.

   "I think the men and women who go over there to serve in the military are heroic. My son was a hero, for what he did. These people deserve all our respect," Silveri said. "I would like some more answers from our leaders, though, on exactly why we're over there. I don't feel like we've been told the whole story."

   The News will have extensive coverage of Jonathon Cote's funeral on Friday.

   -- Dan Herbeck



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