There are those among us that seem destined to serve. Either because of demeanor or stature, these are the folks that are blessed with a presence that make them impossible to miss or forget.
For those that knew Alessandro Plutino, he was one those guys.
Sandrino - as he was known to those closest to him - was not only "impossible to miss" but he had a knack for sticking out everywhere he went, perhaps most especially to those living in Savannah, Georgia, home to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
"He was one of those larger than life characters; hailing from south Jersey on the outskirts of Philadelphia," says Greg Holownia, Sandrino's former platoon leader. "He was built like a linebacker, confident, outgoing, and quick with a smile or joke."
Others that knew him remember Sandrino for his focus, candor, and love for his brothers-in-arms.
"You always knew what you got with Sandrino," says friend and fellow Ranger Grant McGarry. "He was always true to who he was. A friend you could count on."
"He loved being a Ranger. He was a great man."
Sandrino Plutino gave his life in the service of others on 8 August 2011 during combat operations in Afghanistan. He was on his sixth combat deployment.
The loss of Sandrino was a tremendous blow to his fellow Rangers, but the impact of his sacrifice would be everlasting. Fellow platoon members recall his leadership in his final moments and how his actions saved the lives of the brothers he so loved.
"He placed himself in the position of greatest danger to identify and destroy the enemy and, in doing so, undoubtedly saved the lives of his team members and the rest of the platoon," recalled Greg Holownia.
In the wake of their loss, Sandrino's family created a nonprofit that carries on his legacy by giving back to the special operations community that he loved and town he called home.
Since its inception, Honoring Sandrino's Sacrifice has given back over $135,000 to several organizations. Sandrino's family has also established the SGT Sandrino Plutino Memorial Scholarship Fund at his alma mater (Pitman High School), as well as the Sandrino Award, presented to a senior athlete that best embodies Sandrino's qualities and ideals.
Dog Tag Brewing Foundation is humbled and excited to take part in celebrating Sandrino’s life with a Legacy Grant in support of Honoring Sandrino's Sacrifice.
While it may be true that there are those among us that seemed destined to serve, it takes a truly remarkable individual to stand up, take the oath, and do so.
Even fewer among us have what it takes to become an Army Ranger.
For Sandrino Plutino, this was just his way of sticking out and serving the nation he loved with brothers he couldn't live without.
An impossible man to miss, Sandrino's sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Here's to you, Sandrino!
DOG TAG BREWING FOUNDATION
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Dog Tag Brewing Foundation is a combat Veteran-run nonprofit that partners with Gold Star Families to celebrate the lives of our nation's Fallen Warriors.
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