KIA August 8, 2011
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia
SGT Alessandro Plutino was killed while completing combat operations in Zurmat district of the Paktya province in Afghanistan when his team came in contact with insurgents using RPG’s and AK47s. Alessandro saw the incoming RPG and managed to call out to his team for cover, saving at least one life in the process.
Alessandro was an athletic child, spending as much time as possible playing sports. He especially loved playing football and wrestling in high school, and was an avid skier and snowboarder.
When the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, Plutino was only in his first semester of college, but flew home as soon as possible with the intention of enlisting in to the Marine Corps. Ultimately he decided to finish school, graduating from Wilkes University where he wrestled while earning his degree in Criminology; the day he graduated he went to enlist in the Marines once more. Joining the military turned out to be a challenge for Plutino, who was denied entry to the Marines because of a surgery to repair a wrestling injury. For over a year, Plutino fought the decision until he was able to enlist in to the Army with a Ranger contract.
With only two weeks left in his final tour, Alessandro was scheduled to come home earlier in the year but voluntarily extended his deployment so that he could continue supporting his team.
His mother said that he felt like he was completing his calling. He knew his family was scared for his safety due to the dangerous nature of his assignment, but believed he was doing God’s work and had faith in the plan laid out for him.
“Sgt. Plutino selflessly dedicated his life to protecting our Nation and way of life, and ultimately gave his life in her defense,” said Col. Michael Foster, commander, 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regt. “He was a great man and a great Ranger, who was universally respected. His loss is felt by the entire Battalion, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”
Plutino leaves behind his mother, Dianne Hammond, Father, Sandro Plutino,
SGT Alessandro L. Plutino was 28 years old from Pitman, New Jersey.
The original portrait was presented to his mother, Dianne, and father, Sandro, at an event hosted by The Lead The Way Fund on November 12 in New York, New York.