KIA April 7, 2008
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Polk, Louisiana
SGT Timothy “Timmy” Smith was killed April 7, 2008 when his combat vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Baghdad. The combat engineer was clearing roads of improvised explosive devices for a small patrol convoy when the explosion occurred. He is survived by his wife, Shayna; son, Riley; parents, Michael and Patricia; brother, Tommy; and sister, Jackie.
Timmy was known for his infectious laugh and the uncanny ability to liven up a gathering. He and his younger brother Tommy were close “trickster” partners. Friends and family saw his big heart and wonderful sense of humor and knew he had wanted to join the Army since he was a rambunctious youngster watching war movies. His mother, Patricia Smith stated, “He just wanted to help people,” she said, “He was always a protector.” After he graduated from South Lake Tahoe High School in 2001, Timothy worked several odd jobs in and around town but wanted to do more with his life. He enlisted in the Army in April 2004 and left for Afghanistan in March 2006.
Timothy finished his tour in November 2006 and came home on leave that December. It was during this break that his longtime friendship with a local girl, Shayna Richards, turned romantic and within a few weeks they were talking about marriage. Though Timothy was based in Louisiana, he hustled back to South Lake Tahoe on every break. Always doting on her son, Riley, then just an infant, Timothy wanted to make sure she and Riley would be taken care of. The couple married July 4, 2007 and she and her son moved to Ft. Polk a month later. Timothy started the formal process of adopting Riley, and his face would always light up when others said how much Riley looked like him. Timmy wouldn’t even take his boots off when he got home from a day’s work because he was so excited to play with Riley, his wife said, “He would often get on all fours, growl like an animal and gently head-butt Riley in the stomach.” He loved snowboarding, four-wheeling, and cooking for his wife.
Timothy was redeployed to Iraq in November 2007. He communicated with his wife by e-mail or phone practically every day. They talked about their life together after he finished his service: becoming a police officer, moving to Los Angeles, and trying to have a baby together.
SGT Timothy Smith was 25 years old from South Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Original portrait was presented July 30, 2013 to his mother and family during a special event hosted by the PGA TOUR Reno-Tahoe Open, held in Reno, Nevada.
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