Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Army Spc. Sean R. Cutsforth

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Sean R. Cutsforth, 22, of Radford, Va.

Spc. Cutsforth was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Dec. 15, 2010 at Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire.

Sean Cutsforth grew up in Northern Virginia, entered college on a baseball scholarship and attended for three semesters, his wife said.

Then he joined the Army. "He just told me one day that he thought it was the right thing to do," said his wife, Ashley.

And so Sean R. Cutsforth, 22, the left-handed pitcher who had attended high school in Prince William County, became a soldier in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Spec. Cutsforth died Dec. 15 in Afghanistan's Ghazni province after he was struck by small-arms fire, according to a statement from Fort Campbell, where his division was based.

Cutsforth was born at Fort Belvoir and grew up in the Manassas and Gainesville areas of Prince William, his wife said. He went to Brentsville District High School.

An outgoing man, "he was one of those genuine all-around, would-do-anything-for-anybody type of persons," his wife said. "I don't think anybody ever had a negative memory of Sean."

Sports and outdoor activities always interested him, and he had been swimming since he was a small child.

A newspaper report on a meet held by the Prince William Swim League in summer 1999 listed him as a winner for the Ben Lomond team in three events, including freestyle and backstroke for boys ages 9 and 10.

Many such reports followed in swimming and other sports. As a sophomore at Brentsville in 2004, Cutsforth was listed as a member of a swim medley relay team that was to compete in the state championships. He was honored for his baseball skills at Brentsville in 2006.

His wife said he played football as well as baseball at Brentsville, and was also on a traveling youth baseball team.

She said Cutsforth received a scholarship to Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk and spent three semesters there. He studied recreation and leisure activities and acted as a swimming coach.

But, she said, he "thought it was his duty to serve his country."

On Sept. 23, 2008, she said, he enlisted in the Army. After basic training he was stationed at Fort Campbell, and this year was deployed to Afghanistan.

Cutsforth's family includes a brother, Ryan, who lives in Gainesville, and sisters Casey of Blacksburg and Kayla of Christiansburg, Va., according to his wife.

Ashley Cutsforth said she met her husband in early 2008 in Radford, Va., where his brother was living. They married in 2009, she said, on the Fourth of July.

She said she is expecting a child in April. It's a boy, she said.

MANASSAS, Va. - Sean Cutsforth, who grew up in Manassas, Va., was a very athletic kid. His mother showed off a photograph she snapped years ago showing her young son sleeping in bed wearing a catcher's mask.

"It was new equipment," laughed Vickie Cutsforth, remembering that night. "He just wanted to try it on. He'd fall asleep with his new bats, everything."

On Wednesday, Vickie Cutsforth was visited by representatives of the U.S. Army bearing terrible news. Her 22-year-old son had been killed by small arms fire while on patrol in Eastern Afghanistan.

Sean received a baseball scholarship to Virginia Wesleyan College, but after three semesters, he announced to his family that he wanted to leave school to join the Army.

"He looked at all the services, met with recruiters and such. [Sean's] was a well thought-out decision," recalled Sean's father, Robert Cutsforth.

"He wanted to serve his country," agreed Sean's mom. "That's what we had to let him do."

Sean was assigned to the 101st Airborne, based in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He deployed to Afghanistan in February and was scheduled to return to the U.S. early next year.

The Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear will order that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on the day of Spc. Cutsforth’s interment.

Spc. Cutsforth is survived by his wife, Ashley L. Cutsforth and unborn son due in April of Clarksville, Tenn.; mother Vickie L. Cutsforth of Manassas, Va.; father, Robert H. Cutsforth, of Gainesville, Va.; brother Ryan of Gainesville, Va.; sister Casey of Blacksburg, Va. and a sister Kayla of Christiansburg, Va.

Family members say Sean loved the Army and was considering making it a career. His family has asked that Sean Cutsforth be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The Army has agreed.

Army Spc. Sean R. Cutsforth was killed in action on 12/15/10.

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