"I'm current in Afghanistan my job is rte clearance drive down the road and looking for bombs or ied's as we call them i been blown up twice...almost done here."
That is how Army Specialist E. Steven Gutowski described his job as an Army specialist in Afghanistan on his Facebook page.
Gutowski was a member of the 515th Engineer Company. He had been stationed in Afghanistan since February. He was killed earlier this week. The Department of Defense has yet to confirm his death.
Today, his parents flew to Dover Air Base in Delaware to receive his body.
Gutowski was a 2005 graduate of Plymouth North High School. According to his Facebook page, Gutowski thought of becoming a police officer after leaving the service. He is the sixth person with Plymouth ties killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the second soldier from the South Shore to die in Afghanistan in the past two months.
State Senate President Therese Murray's office confirmed Gutowski's death.
"My thoughts and prayers are with Steven’s family, and all the mothers, fathers and spouses in the Commonwealth who have had to bear the grief of losing a loved one," Murray said in a statement. "While nothing will ever ease the loss of this hometown hero, his selfless sacrifice for our safety and freedom will never be forgotten. Please take a moment today to honor Steven and the five other brave soldiers from our community who lost their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Friends and family began posting their thoughts and memories on Gutowski's Facebook page as soon as his death became known:
- Tommy Gutowski: RIP steven, I wish I could have seen you one last time. We will all remember the good times we had with you and never forget the fun we all had together. You are a hero and a great person. You will be remembered as the fun, happy person we all knew I am gonna miss you.
- John Doherty: RIP steve miss and love u man
- Katie Collins: Thank you for your service to our country. I will always remember the good times playing basketball in the west plymouth league with you. You will be missed.
- Bobby Pearson: Youre a good man who served this country proudly. You will never be forgotten and neither will that big grin you always had on your face. Rest easy, watch over us all, and we will see you on the high ground brother.
Funeral services are being planned by Cartmell Funeral Services in Plymouth.
Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Matthew Pucino, 34, who grew up in Plymouth, died after an explosive struck his convoy in Pashay Kala, Afghanistan, Nov. 23, 2009.
Army Spc. Benjamin Sherman, 21, of Plymouth, died Nov. 4, 2009, trying to save a fellow soldier in western Afghanistan.
Army National Guard Spc. Matthew Stanley, 22, was killed by a roadside bomb Dec. 16, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq. His wife, Amy, is from Plymouth.
Marine Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Burgess, 20, of Plymouth was killed March 25, 2004, in an attack on his convoy east of Fallujah, Iraq.
Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Robert E. Rooney, 42, of Plymouth, was killed in an accident Sept. 25, 2003, in Kuwait.