Plymouth: Local soldier killed in Afghanistan

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A 24-year old soldier from Plymouth died Thursday in an explosion in Afghanistan. Specialist Steven Gutowski was a Combat Engineer stationed out of Fort Leonard Wood Missouri.

Plymouth Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Hallisey calls it a tragedy.

“We were notified yesterday of this tragic young incident about this young man,” said Hallisey. “Obviously this one of a few now in Plymouth that has happened, so every time it hurts that much more.”

Gutowski, the sixth member of the military with Plymouth ties to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, graduated from Plymouth North in 2005, and graduated from Basic Training, in April of 2009.

On his Facebook page, Gutowski said previously that he had survived two other explosions near his vehicle while in Afghanistan.

“Some of the information I have gotten back is that he seemed like a very nice young man,” said Hallisey. “He was a brother of two sisters, had a mother, and seemed very well loved and seemed to be a very close knit family, and obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and relatives.”

Gutowski was last home the weekend of August 25th, for his sister’s wedding.

On Friday, Gutowski’s uncle,  Bob,  described his nephew as a “guy who loved life and always stood up for what’s right.” He says his nephew played football in high school.

Senate President Therese Murray released the following statement:

“I am saddened to hear that Army Specialist Steven E. Gutowski from Plymouth was killed earlier this week in Afghanistan. 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. “

Gutowski was expected to be leaving Afghanistan in just four more months – with plans to go through the police academy.

The Pentagon has not officially announced the death.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

About Steven Dodrill

Steven Dodrill left the WATD news team in 2013. He was a full-time news reporter and weekend anchor while assuming the duties of Manager of Web and News Services. The 25 year-old Franklin Pierce University graduate adds a blend of new media to the traditional news for WATD listeners over the airwaves, and for the readers on the web. Dodrill has a vast amount of experience in on-air and online platforms. "Follow" him on Twitter At Franklin Pierce, Steven worked to introduce new forms of media like YouTube, and Twitter to the Franklin Pierce community.  Steven graduated Cum Laude and with honors in Mass Communication from Franklin Pierce University in May of 2009. Steven focused his education and experience in New Hampshire around sports broadcasting, digital media, broadcast journalism, news, media production, and political reporting. "Like" him on Facebook Dodrill also interned with the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League during the summer of 2007, and most recently in the spring of 2009 he completed an internship in the newsroom at WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH.