Marine Pfc. Kyle J. Coutu
Died February 18, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
20, of Providence, R.I.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Feb. 18 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
(The following was taken from www.valleybreeze.com of March 3, 2010) PAWTUCKET -- They gathered as one to pay homage to a man who answered his call to duty, whose stated goal in life was to make the world a better place, whether loving friends and family in his hometown or serving on the battlefront in Afghanistan.
Men, women and children of all ages, many of whom didn't even know Marine Pfc. Kyle J. Coutu, paid their final respects last Friday to a young man who gave his life protecting them while serving the country he loved.
Only 20 years old, Coutu was killed by a sniper on Feb. 18, just three weeks after arriving in war-torn Afghanistan.
Mourners filled St. Teresa Child of Jesus Church on Newport Avenue last Friday, a standing-room-only crowd spilling out into the streets for a final funeral procession down Route 95 to Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.
It was there where it was announced that Coutu would be honored with the U.S. military's prestigious Purple Heart.
Coutu, a graduate of Tolman High School, where he was a standout athlete, was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. He had played an integral role in one of the Afghanistan war's largest - and one of its most successful - offensives against Taliban forces that have controlled Helmand province.
At the prompting of Mayor James Doyle, a movement is now afoot in city government to rename the Tolman High School football field, otherwise known as the "Goff Lots," the "Pfc. Kyle Joseph Coutu Field."
Tolman High Tiger staff and members of the Coutu family held a candlelight vigil in Kyle Coutu's memory at Pariseau Field on Sunday evening.