KIA February 9, 2006
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 3rd Batallion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California; attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)
While conducting combat operations against the enemy near Fallujah, Cpl Ross Smith was struck by an improvised explosive device and killed instantly. Pfc Javier Chavez Jr. was also killed. Cpl Smith was in his third tour to Iraq and was only months away from completing his four-year obligation to the Armed Forces, at which time he hoped to pursue a civilian life and business career.
During high school, when he wasn’t focused on playing basketball or golf, Ross loved making people laugh, and could be a bit of a prankster. Before graduating from Wyoming Park High School in June of 2002, he enlisted in the Marines during his senior year. Even after the events of 9/11 when the danger of military service increased, he was adamant about his desire to serve is country, and fulfill his duty to protect the American people.
Cpl Smith also loved getting to spend time with his family and friends when he was on leave, and genuinely worked to help those around him. To his family, friends and his fellow marines, Ross was a constant source of support.
“He was always able to light up the room and lighten any situation with his infectious smile. He was a hero and a true American Patriot,” Lucas Smith, said. “He loved his country and died doing what he loved.”
Ross leaves behind his mother Susan, father Mark, and two brothers, Lucas and Matt.
Cpl Smith was 21 years old from Wyoming, Michigan.
Original portrait by artist Jonathan Stasko was presented to his mother and family on June 15, 2016 at Freedom Cruise in Grand Rapids, Michigan.