MICHAEL JOSEPH DUTCHER (1988-2011)
Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times
September 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22, 2011
Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher
ASHEVILLE -- Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher, 22, was killed in action Thursday, September 15, 2011, in Helmond Province, Afghanistan.
He was the loving son of Teresa Gentry Dutcher and twin brother of David Timothy Dutcher. Cpl. Dutcher has now joined his father, David Dutcher, who died in 2005. He was also preceded in death by grandparents Harold Gentry and Paul and Betty Dutcher.
In addition, he is survived by his grandmother, Frances Gentry, and by several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A funeral service is scheduled for 12:00 noon Friday at Trinity Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Ralph Sexton and the Revs. Allen Rash and Dwight Parrish officiating. Full military honors will follow at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Jacksonville, FL 322356.
UNDERNEATH THE ARMOR
By Elliott D. Woods
** Text and Photos **
Pages 24 & 30
Four months into their seven-month tour, the mostly nineteen- and twenty-year-old marines at Patrol Base Fires in Sangin, Afghanistan [about 60 miles northwest of Kandahar], had seen enough violence to permanently line their boyish faces. Two of their platoon's men had been killed by improvised explosive devices [IEDs], one of them blown literally in two. A half dozen had gone home without their legs, and others had suffered severe concussions or taken fragments of flying metal on their exposed faces and through the gaps in their Kevlar armor. By the time I arrived to photograph and interview them in July 2011, First Platoon's casualty rate was more than 50 percent.
Lance Corporal John Bohlinger describes Sangin, a district of fourteen thousand in Helmand Province, as "a lot like Vietnam mixed with Kansas" -- a firefight in a minefield, set against a backdrop of beanstalks and head-high corn, with low-slung khaki-colored mountains on the horizon. Sangin is a key way station along the narcotics- and weapons-smuggling routes on which the Taliban depend. The district is so remote, so cut off from the Afghan government, that none of the farmers with whom I spoke knew the name of their country's president. They could not name Helmand's provincial governor either, or even their district-council leader. They did not know what country the marines in their fields had come from, let alone why they were there. They did know that they were tired of living in a war zone. They were afraid of everyone, and that fear had driven hundreds of Sangin Families to Kabul, where they were waiting out the war in filthy encampments on the city's western outskirts.
. . .
Corporal Michael Dutcher, pictured here, died on September 15, 2011, the victim of yet another IED blast. Dutcher, a soft-spoken twenty-two-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina, proudly sported his goofy standard-issue glasses and was engaged to be married when he returned from Sangin. He was unfailingly generous with his cigarettes and with the Frank's RedHot sunflower seeds that he carried on patrol, stuffed between his sweat-soaked ribs and his body armor. "Dutch," as his friends called him, had learned a few words of Pashto and seemed to enjoy making small talk with the farmers. He planned to get out of the Corps in 2012 and go to school, maybe become a special-education teacher like his mom.
"The think I miss most about civilian life in general is definitely weekends," he'd said to me. "I can't wait to go back, sleep in, and not have to worry about anything."
Dutch died with less than a month left of his tour. Now his squad mates are back at Camp Pendleton in California, where they'll begin to file away the memories of fellow marines like him, of the laughter and sorrow they shared in a palce beyond most Americans' comprehension.
. . .
CORPORAL MICHAEL JOSEPH "DUTCH" DUTCHER
Age twenty-two, deceased
Asheville, North Carolina
"Since I've joined the Marine Corps, I've decided I want to follow in my mom's footsteps and become a teacher. Right now I'm just trying to figure out what subject I want to teach. I might be an autism specialist like my mom or teach science or history."
MICHAEL JOSEPH DUTCHER
Birth: Not Available
Death: 15 September 2011
Burial Place: Western North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, Black Mountain, North Carolina, United States
Married: Not Available
Contributor: Hokie374 (October 2, 2011)
HONORING CORPORAL MICHAEL JOSEPH DUTCHER FOR HIS SERVICE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -- (Extensions of Remarks -- September 21, 2011)
SPEECH OF HON. HEATH SHULER OF NORTH CAROLINA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
Mr. SHULER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Corporal Michael Joseph Dutcher of Asheville, North Carolina for his valiant service in the United States Marine Corps. The sacrifices Corporal Michael Joseph Dutcher made will not be forgotten as he put his country above his own needs, serving to fight for freedom.
Born on November 21, 1988, Cpl. Dutcher grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. At Asheville High School, Cpl. Dutcher was involved in band, wrestling, and ROTC. Immediately after graduation, Cpl. Dutcher enrolled in the Marine Corps on June 18, 2007. Cpl. Dutcher served in Bravo Company. He served 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan. His personal service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment with three Bronze Stars, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and NATO Medal ISAF-Afghanistan.
Cpl. Dutcher was a Non-Commissioned Officer of Marines, regarded by his unit as a selfless leader who always put the well-being of his fellow Marines above his own. In Afghanistan, his unit served at the tip of the spear in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, the site of some of the fiercest fighting in all of Afghanistan. On September 15, 2011, he gave his life while leading his Marines from the front against enemy forces.
Mr. Speaker, Cpl. Dutcher embodied the most essential qualities of a United States Marine. He was selfless, dedicated, and brave. He is remembered as a man who had a tremendous impact not only on his fellow Marines, but also on his family, friends, and community. Through his exemplary service in Afghanistan, Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher has brought pride to Western North Carolina. It is truly my honor to commemorate him and I urge my colleagues to join me today in honoring the life of Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher for the sacrifices he made for our country.
MICHAEL J. DUTCHER, 22, OF ASHEVILLE KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
September 17, 2011
ASHEVILLE, NC -- The Department of Defense announced Friday the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Cpl. Michael J. Dutcher, 22, of Asheville, N.C., died Sept. 15 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Family members of Michael Joseph Dutcher, 21, a Marine who graduated from Asheville High in 2007, were informed of his death Thursday, and the somber news quickly spread through the community.
Teresa Dutcher, Michael Dutcher's mother, works for Asheville City Schools and previously served as a teaching assistant at Claxton Elementary.
Sue Tripp, Asheville City Schools transportation coordinator, worked with Teresa Dutcher at Claxton Elementary and knew Michael Dutcher and his twin, David Timothy Dutcher, who also graduated from Asheville High in 2007.
"She's a dear friend and I knew the boys and I have children the same age so I can't even imagine her grief," Tripp said. "We're all just kind of shocked."
Dutcher was deployed in April. Family members did not have further details about his death.
Friends, family, and colleagues within Asheville City Schools visited the Dutcher home to console Teresa Dutcher on Thursday.
"We love her and we want her to know we will support her any way we can," said Greg Townsend, principal of the School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville.
Townsend said he remembers Michael Dutcher well.
"He was a great kid," he said. "He was a strong leader. He was active in our RTOC cadets. His experience there I'm sure is what led him to join the Marines."
HONORING THE FALLEN
December 26, 2011
HONOR A FALLEN MARINE
September 23, 2011
Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher USMC, 22, of Asheville, NC, paid the ultimate price supporting Operation Enduring Freedom while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
In 1988 Asheville, North Carolina welcomed home twin boys, Michael Joseph and David Timothy to loving parents Teresa Gentry Dutcher and the late David Dutcher (2005). With a proud but broken heart, Asheville once again welcomes home her son, Cpl Michael Joseph Dutcher.
A 2007 graduate of Asheville High School, Cpl. Dutcher was a member of the marching band and an Outstanding member of the Marine Corps JROTC. He was engaged to be married to Ms. Rachel Adams.
Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher arrived at the Asheville Regional Airport on Wednesday 21 September at approx. 1000. We are honored to stand with Cpl Dutcher through his final formation on Friday, 23 September, when he can rest peacefully with his Brothers and Sisters at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.
Please excuse the following Cadets at 1110 today to represent Madison High School and show the family of this fallen Marine that all of Madison send their love, prayers, and thoughts in their time of need.
If any of the above have any issue, please let them go and I will ensure they make up what they miss.
Master Sergeant (Retired) Brian King
Madison High School JROTC
"De Oppresso Liber"
FALLEN WARRIORS SEPTEMBER 17-18, 2011
September 22, 2011
GOVERNOR AND FIRST LADY HONOR CPL. MICHAEL J. DUTCHER
Office of the Governor Edumnd G. Brown Jr.
September 19, 2011
SACRAMENTO -- On behalf of all Californians, Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor Cpl. Michael J. Dutcher, who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation. The Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.
In memorial, Governor Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol today. Cpl. Dutcher’s family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.
* * *
Cpl. Michael J. Dutcher, 22, of Asheville, NC, died September 15 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA. Dutcher was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
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