Soldier from Virginia dies in Afghanistan

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 18, 2010; 9:29 PM

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 father, Robert, lives in Gainesville and mother Vickie in Manassas, she said.

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. It's a boy, she said.

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