Soldier served country with distinction in Iraq.
WESTBORO - The day after he was scheduled to be discharged from the Army, Sgt. Timothy M. Smith was instead sent for a second tour of duty to a war zone. Less than five months later, he would be killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
Sgt. Smith, whose father, Michael, grew up in Westboro and whose grandmother Barbara still lives in town, had been scheduled to be discharged from the Army on Nov. 24, 2007. He had already served a tour in Afghanistan, and had been home for a year when he was called to serve again. A native of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sgt. Smith had been in the Army since 2004.
He earned numerous awards and medals for his military service, among them a Purple Heart, an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Medal, and medals noting service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
His grandmother, Barbara A. Smith, wrote in a letter to the Telegram & Gazette that, had he been discharged, her grandson "would have been happy to resume his civilian life and plans and dreams for himself, his wife, and their son at that time. ... The Army had been a lifelong dream of his, and while he may have been disillusioned with the Stop Loss program that arbitrarily extended his enlistment and sent him back into battle, as it does others, "he got over it, and wanted us to."
Mrs. Smith said that on Nov. 25, the day after he should have been discharged, Sgt. Smith "was sent to Iraq, where he served with distinction and died too soon. It is hurtful to have anyone think he `wanted to get out and they wouldn't let him,'" as a quote in a story in Friday's Telegram & Gazette stated.
She said that while he was in Iraq, Sgt. Smith "had even begun to talk about re-enlisting as one of his options for the future."
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|Title Annotation:||LOCAL NEWS|
|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Apr 13, 2008|
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