LAS VEGAS, NM, USA U.S. Army LTC, HHC, 47TH AREA SUPPORT GROUP, CAMP DOHA, KUWAIT CAMP VIRGINIA, KUWAIT 09/04/2006
Marshall Gutierrez, 41, grew up in the little town of Las Vegas in the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a descendant of the original farmers who received Spanish land grants to settle the area. Marshall graduated West Las Vegas High School in 1983 and from New Mexico Highlands University in 1987. He was a driven and intensely proud man, both of his achievements as a soldier and his Hispanic heritage, says his widow Brenda, also a Las Vegas native. After high school, he worked his way through college on a scholarship from the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and became a commissioned officer in 1987.
The two met a quarter-century ago at a church event when he was 15 and she was 13. They married five years later, and he started serving in the Army National Guard the very next weekend. The couple commenced the itinerant life of a military family, bouncing from Newport News, Va., to Colorado Springs, Colo., to Saudi Arabia after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In Panama, Marshall led the 1097th Transportation (Medium Boat) Company, which moved thousands of tons of materiel and in 1994 won a prestigious Army award.
“He was a hard charger. He did not accept any sort of failure. His way or the highway was how he was,” recalls Sgt. Sean Kelly, who served under him in Panama. “But he also was able to motivate the people who worked under him to literally accomplish the impossible.”