Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Steven E Gutowski

Plymouth, Massachusetts

September 28, 2011

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
24 Army Spc

5th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade

Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

 Killed in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. 

Steven E. Gutowski, age 24, of Plymouth, MA, passed away September 28, 2011. He was the loving and devoted son of Edward and Joan Gutowski (Goldrick), and loving and caring brother to Cheryl Chamallas (Gutowski) and her husband Alex of Plymouth, and Karen Gutowski also of Plymouth. He is also survived by his good friend, John Mello, of Florida, formally of Buzzards Bay, as well as several aunts, uncles, cousins and many close friends, too many to name. Steven was born in Weymouth, MA May 27, 1987 and resided in Plymouth his whole life. He was a 2005 graduate of Plymouth North High School. He ran on the track team and played football during his high school years. He was very involved with the high school marketing club - DECA and helped by running the school store. He also liked to bowl on the weekends and even joined his father's mens league when he was old enough. Steven held different positions within the Plymouth Recreation Dept. over his high school years and thoroughly enjoyed working with all the kids. In his last year prior to joining the Army the kids dipped their hands in paint and left their handprints on his t-shirt, which he then framed and cherished dearly. He also spent many summer nights working at the Plymouth Long Beach for the town of Plymouth. When he wasn't at the beach or with the kids, he worked Team Ops Security for Gillette Stadium, for 3+ years. Steven enlisted into the Active Army on 31 December 2008. He served as a Combat Engineer and was stationed at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri. He deployed in February 2011 with the 515th Engineer Company (Sapper), 54th Engineer Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan. During his service, he helped to find improvised explosive devices and aided in route clearance operations. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Combat Action Badge. He was known as "Gooto" to those he served with and "Goot" in Plymouth. He was a huge fan of the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox, but his love for the Boston Bruins was second to none: he was so thankful to see them win the Stanley Cup and was able to watch the games by being woken up at 4 a.m. in Afghanistan. Our prayers go out to the families of the two other soldiers who died alongside Steven and wish for the speady recovery of the wounded soldier. Also, a thank you to all the men and women who serve our country A visitation will be held at the Cartmell Funeral Home, 150 Court St. Plymouth on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, from 4 till 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, October 17 at St. Peters Church in Plymouth at 11a.m., followed by burial at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. In lieu of flowers, the Gutowski family requests that donations be made in Steven's memory to Veterans Services, Town of Plymouth, 11 Lincoln Street, Plymouth, MA 02360, in the care of Roxanne Whitbeck. Donations may also be made to the "Military Friends Foundation" 14 Beacon Street, Suite 706, Boston, MA 02108, or made online at:www.militaryfriends.org , a local non-profit organization that supports military families and friends of our fallen service members across Massachusetts. Steven's famous last words: "I was put here on Earth to make everyone smile and I simply receive a thank you from those people smiling.". For more info and online guestbook please visit, www.cartmellfuneralhome.com

Published in Old Colony Memorial from October 11 to October 18, 2011
Family releases red, white and blue balloons at soldier's funeral

The Associated Press

PLYMOUTH, Mass. - A 24-year-old Plymouth soldier killed in Afghanistan has been honored in his hometown.

Army Spc. Steven Gutowski, a combat engineer, was one of three soldiers killed in Ghazni province by a roadside bomb Sept. 28.

Hundreds attended his funeral Mass on Monday in St. Peter's Church, including Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. John Kerry, U.S. Rep. William Keating, and state Senate President Therese Murray of Plymouth.

His older sister, Cheryl Chamallas, gave a eulogy. She recalled her brother dancing at her wedding a month ago, and his delight in the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup win last summer. After the service, family members released red, white and blue balloons outside the church.

Gutowski was awarded the Bronze Star after his death. He was buried in the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
From The Patriot Ledger patriotledger.com 09/30/11:

Three soldiers, including Plymouth native, killed in Afghanistan
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 04:34 PM

The family of a soldier from Plymouth killed in Afghanistan flew to Dover Air Base in Delaware Friday to receive the body.
Army Specialist Steven E. Gutowski, a 2005 graduate of Plymouth North High School, was killed along with two other soldiers, Ivan D. Lechowich, 27, of Valrico, Fla., and David A. Drake, 21, of Lumberton, Texas, on Wednesday in Ghazni province, Afhganistan, the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed Friday.
The three were killed when their unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device, military officials said.
“The entire town is grieving the loss of one of our own. It’s tragic, and our hearts go out to his family,” said William P. Hallisey Jr., chairman of Plymouth Selectmen
Gutowski, Drake and Lechowich were members of the 515th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade out of Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Gutowski had been stationed in Afghanistan since February.
Gutowski was last home in August for his sister Cheryl’s wedding, Cheryl’s mother in-law, Pamela Chamallas, said today.
“He was a sincere young man, full of energy,” Chamallas said. “I really think that at 24, he had his idea of where he wanted to go in life. He was full of energy and ideas. It was exciting to see him mature. I think the service had really done good things for him.”
Gutowski 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.
Army 1st Lt. Timothy J. Steele of Duxbury, 25, a member of Duxbury High School’s Class of 2004, was killed Aug. 23 in an improvised-explosive-device attack in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. The West Point graduate was married and the father of a 1-year-old girl.
Gutowski kept in regular touch with his family, including his parents and two sisters, while he was deployed, Chamallas said.
“He spoke with his mom yesterday morning,” she said. “He had called her.”
He had talked of possibly becoming a police officer when he left the service. “I could see him doing that. He was a very protective person. He was the only son but he had a certain air about him. He would take care of everybody like a big brother,” Chamallas said.
“Before he went into the Army, he was doing a lot of soul searching. The Army really seemed to help him. What he was doing was extremely dangerous,” she said.
Gutowski’s uncle, Bob Gutowski, said Friday that his nephew had survived two other explosions near his vehicle while in Afghanistan. He had just been home in August for his sister’s wedding.
He described Gutowski as a “guy who loved life and always stood up for what’s right.”
He says his nephew played football in high school and was considering a career in law enforcement when he got out of the Army.
The Pentagon has not officially announced the death.

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