Mark A. "Smitty" Smith October 4, 1982 - August 5, 2013 Technical Sergeant Mark A. Smith was born on October 4, 1982, in Bakersfield, California. Mark, a flight engineer for the 33rd RQS, died during a training mission, when the helicopter in which he was flying in went down near Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Mark was training for his third deployment to Afghanistan. After graduating from Centennial High School in 2000, Mark enlisted in the Air Force. He completed Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB and started his career as an Aircraft Structural Maintainer. In 2008, Mark cross trained to become a Flight Engineer on the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. His assignments include: Beale AFB, California, Moody AFB, Georgia, and Kadena AB, Okinawa. Mark's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Mark married the love of his life, Jessica Aranda, also from Bakersfield. Together they had two beautiful daughters, Victoria and Gabrielle. The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation and thanks to the entire Rescue Community, family, and friends. A special thanks to Armando Martinez, who has been with Mark since he left Japan; and an extended thank you to the members at Kadena AB and all of Okinawa for their support and prayers. In Lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations may be made to 529 plans to benefit the Smith children. In response to the tragic loss of a TSgt Mark Smith, the River Rats, in conjunction with the Air Warrior Courage Foundation (AWCF), have established a college savings 529 plan to accept tax deductible contributions for his children's college education. Anyone wanting to honor TSgt Smith, may contribute to funds providing 529 College Savings plans for the surviving children. All contributions are tax deductible. 1. Send a check to the AWCF, P.O. Box 877, Silver Spring, MD 20918. In a note or on the check say "In Memory of TSgt Mark Smith." 2. Using a credit card. Go to our home page at www.airwarriorcourage.org. On the Home page is a DONATE button. Click it and it will take you to a page with a GIVE DIRECT button. Click it and fill in the blanks. In the COMMENTS block put in "In Memory of TSgt Mark Smith". Visitation will be held at Basham Funeral Care (3312 Niles Street) on Friday, August 30, 2013 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. with the Rosary recited at 7:00 p.m. Memorial Services will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. Burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on September 5, 2013. For additional information, please contact Basham Funeral Care at 873-8200. Basham Funeral Care www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Basham Funeral Care - Bakersfield
3312 Niles St.
Bakersfield, CA 93306
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, 2013