Friday, March 21, 2008

Army Pvt. Tyler J. Smith

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. Tyler J. Smith, 22, of Bethel, Maine

Pvt Smith was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died Mar. 21, 2008 at Forward Operating Base Falcon near Baghdad of wounds sustained when the base received indirect fire.

Maine soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

BETHEL, Maine — A 22-year-old soldier from Bethel has become the latest Maine service member killed in Iraq.

The Defense Department announced Monday that Army Pvt. Tyler Smith died Friday of wounds received when his forward base near Baghdad received indirect fire. The Army would not elaborate on the circumstances, but a spokesman said indirect fire typically describes a mortar or rocket attack.

Smith, a 2004 graduate of Telstar Regional High School, was a combat engineer assigned to a unit of the 3rd Infantry Division.

A spokesman at Fort Stewart, Ga., said Smith joined the Army in December 2005 and arrived in Iraq around the end of November.

Gov. John Baldacci spoke with Smith’s parents, Martin and Wendy Smith. The governor said he will order that flags be lowered to half-staff on the day of the funeral.

“As a state, we join together and mourn the loss of another young soldier from Maine,” Baldacci said in a statement. “This is a terrible loss for his family, his friends and his community. We honor Private Smith’s sacrifice and will keep his family in our hearts and prayers.”

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation also issued statements honoring Smith’s sacrifice and mourning his loss.

Martin and Wendy Smith could not be reached for comment.

Telstar’s dean of students, Charles Raymond, remembered Tyler Smith as a “straight-shooter” who was fun-loving but responsible. “He was a leader among his peers,” Raymond said.

Smith, who excelled in industrial arts, had worked with his father in construction and was very knowledgeable about that field, the school official said.

Army Pvt. Tyler J. Smith was killed in action on 3/21/08.

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