Based: Norfolk, Va.
1st Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Company, Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: October 19, 2007
High School: Santana High (Santee)
Burial: Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego
Garoutte, 22, of Santee, Calif., collapsed and died Oct. 19 after working out in Baghdad, where he had been stationed for nearly three months.
He was assigned to the 1st Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Company, Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Norfolk, Va.
Garoutte grew up in Santee, a San Diego suburb...The eldest of five children, Garoutte doted on his siblings, buying them gifts and making time to play with all of them. "The kids just loved him," his stepmother said.
Garoutte became more religious as a teenager and joined several church youth groups.
"It was just something he did on his own," his stepmother said. "It started off as a social thing, but he gradually became closer to God."
|With his Mom|
After graduating from Santana High School in 2004, he worked several jobs and briefly moved to Nashville with a friend ... After moving back to the San Diego area, Garoutte began considering the military.
|With his Dad|
Garoutte enlisted in 2005, and his family agreed that the military gave him direction. "He went into boot camp a boy and came out a man," his stepmother said.
Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Corporal Erik T. Garoutte here, and with a tribute from his church here along with an article from the San Diego Tribune. Go here for Corporal Garoutte's Guest Book.