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Spc. Michael J. Smith View/Sign Guest Book

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Age:   24
Hometown: Media, PA
Date of Death: 1/11/2005
Incident Location: Ramadi, Iraq
Branch of Military:   Army
Rank: Spc.
Unit: 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Unit's Base: Fort Carson, Colo.

As a teenager, Michael Smith dropped out of high school and sang in a heavy-metal band. So his decision to join the Army was made even more surprising when his long locks were shaved into a crew cut. "He thought it was important that we be there and help these people," said his father, James H. Smith. "He was all about helping and doing what he could to help liberate these people, politics aside." Smith, 24, of Media, Pa., was killed Jan. 11 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his military vehicle in Ramadi. He is survived by his wife, Oksana, whom he met while stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea. Smith had been close to his father since the boy's mother died of cancer in 1995. The two spoke about every other week during Smith's six months of service in Iraq. Michael Smith last visited home in September; his father said he showed no fear of returning to Iraq. "He was there to do his job, which he loved. He often said that `I'm doing what I'm trained to do,'" James Smith said.
Source: Associated Press
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