BRANDON, FL, USA U.S. Army CPT, BATT A, 1ST BN, 76TH FA, 4TH BCT (TF BAGHDAD), FORT STEWART, GA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 12/08/2005
Every time Army 1st Lieutenant Kevin Joseph Smith left home, he left something behind. Socks. Wallet. Once, he even left his Army uniform, and his father and stepmother had to send it to him by overnight mail.
When Kevin, 28, was killed by a bomb in Baghdad on Thursday, December 28, 2005, he left other things behind: a family who loved him and a fiancee he had planned to marry that winter. They had already bought and renovated a home in Savannah, GA. He had e-mailed her every day from Iraq, and was counting down the days until his scheduled return home. They were down to 40.
Kevin was a strapping West Point graduate from Brandon, Florida. His athletic skill helped him get a scholarship to West Point. Many considered Smith to be the best goalkeeper in Hillsborough County when he played for Brandon High School’s soccer team. He carried that same determination into the military, where he was known as a planner and a finisher. He was always thinking about what he needed to do next.
His family fondly recalled his visits home on school breaks from West Point. He had a hearty appetite, and he liked to sit in the kitchen with his friends devouring smoked chicken he had cooked. He could often be found peering into the refrigerator to see what had appeared since the last time he looked.
Kevin’s last words were: “Look after my men.”