FALL RIVER (CBS) — Local soldier Ethan Goncalo died in Afghanistan, Fall River officials said today.
The Fall River native was a member of the 181st infantry of the Massachusetts National Guard. The cause of his death has not been released.
Family members said Goncalo deployed in October – the same month he turned 21.
A 2008 graduate of Durfee High School, Goncalo made a name for himself as a star baseball player and popular student. “He was always smiling he was always laughing a lot,” said former baseball coach Brad Bustin. “All the players seemed to like him, he’s very easy to get along with. A very good teammate and a very nice kid.”
Before transferring to Durfee High School, Goncalo attended Bishop Connolly High School where he played for head coach Ted Regan. “He’s like a second son,” said Regan. “He has a special spot in my heart.”
Regan said he’s known Goncalo since childhood and is good friends with Goncalo’s father. “I talked to his dad yesterday morning and his dad was ecstatic that Ethan was coming home on the 16th for two weeks for Christmas.”
Veterans Affairs officials said Goncalo is the fourth fallen soldier from Fall River this year. Three out of those four have been killed in Afghanistan.