SAN ANTONIO – A U.S. Army sergeant from San Antonio who was killed in an attack overseas is being remembered for his final act of bravery.
“We’re reaping the rewards of his sacrifice with freedom," said Javier Gutierrez, father of Sgt. 1st Class Javier Gutierrez.
According to U.S. Army officials, Sgt. Gutierrez and Sgt. Antonio Rodriguez were killed in an attack in Afghanistan on Feb. 8.
“You’re still thinking ‘Hopefully, it’s not true,’” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said his son went by his middle name, Jaguar. He described his son as family-oriented and affectionate.
“He would always be hugging us and telling us that he loved us,” the father said.
Sgt. Gutierrez’s interest in the military grew as he got older. Several of his family members had served the country, including his father.
“He took it more as a calling to be in the military,” Gutierrez said.
During high school, Sgt. Gutierrez joined ROTC, and after he graduated, he enlisted in the Army.
After multiple deployments, Sgt. Gutierrez started a family of his own in Crestview, Florida, where he was last stationed.
Gutierrez said he believed his son had the potential to have a successful military career.
“His trait is the loyalty he had to serve this country,” he said.
Sgt. Gutierrez last visited his family in December. His father said it was the last time they were all together. He said it is a time for which he will always be grateful.
“The lord has a way of allowing us to say our goodbyes without us even knowing it,” Gutierrez said.
A viewing for Sgt. Gutierrez will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at Community Bible Church. Memorial services will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the same day.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
The family said the memorial and funeral services are open to the public.