Green Beret with ties to Plymouth dies in Afghanistan
An Army Green Beret sergeant with ties to Plymouth has been killed in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino, 34, died Monday when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in the city of Pashay Kala.
His death was announced today by the Defense Department. It comes two weeks after Plymouth South High graduate and Army Spc. Benjamin Sherman died in Afghanistan while trying to rescue a fellow soldier from a river.
His cousin, Anthony Pucino of Norton, said Matthew Pucino joined the service after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
“The last time I talked to him, he said if he could do it all again, he would,” Anthony Pucino said. “He died doing what he loved, fighting for his country.”
A Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, Pucino was a member of the Maryland National Guard and was assigned to the Second Battalion of the 20th Special Forces Group.
He had been in Afghanistan since July. He had previously served in Iraq.
He grew up in Plymouth and attended Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth. He lived in the Baltimore-area town of Cockeysville, Md. at the time of his deployment.
Pucino enlisted in the Army in 2002 as a special forces candidate. He was at Fort Campbell, Ky., and had left active duty when he joined the Maryland National Guard.
In addition to the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and numerous other decorations.
He is survived by his wife, Crystal Pucino of Clarksville, Tenn., parents Albert and Katherine Pucino of Orlando, and two sisters, Lisa Haglof of Sagamore and Melissa Pucino of Plymouth.
Lane Lambert may be reached email@example.com.