BRYN ATHYN, PA, USA
SPC, COMPANY B, 1ST BATTALION, 66TH ARMOR, 1 BCT, FORT HOOD, TX
TAJI, IRAQ 08/27/2006
On August 27, 2006, 23-year-old Tristan Caleb Smith was killed by a roadside bomb in Taji, Iraq, where he was serving as a weapons specialist with the U.S. Army’s Fourth Infantry Division.
In his 2002 high school yearbook, Tristan had chosen a somewhat prescient motto from Micah 7:8: “Do not rejoice against me, O my enemy. If I fall, I shall arise.”
That is the kind of young man he was – all about giving and helping and volunteering, and knowing ultimately Who he was serving.
Tristan was the son of Grant and Kim Smith ,and older brother to Alizah, Jennica and Jaron..
From his pastor:
Did you know that he won the fireman of the year award and was also recognized for his heroism in saving two people from a burning building? No, his parent’s didn’t know right away either. He received an award for that, put it on the table, and went on being, well, Tristan. Someone else told his parents about it! And you know Tristan’s response: “O yeah. That. Oops.”
Tristan was quiet, but he communicated volumes with his eyes, his bright face and smile, and his peaceful demeanor. People notice that he was a curious lad. He emptied his father’s desk several times as a toddler, spreading birth certificates, insurance policies, important papers of all kinds all over the room, or taking apart things. He loved to take things apart- toys, appliances, furniture-he even grabbed his sister and they took hammers out and tried to take the road apart, to see if they could peal it up and discover what was under there, till the police came. You might not know that this curiosity also flourished on a spiritual level, as he searched for spirit and meaning, and for connecting his religion to life. Tristan always wanted to serve, and every time you turned around he was there, smiling. He would work cheerfully and diligently, whether at the Fire Company, SWET weekends, or volunteer service. It may have been different at home or at school, especially if it had to do with homework or cleaning his room, but when in service to others the one thing you could always say about Tristan was that you can count on him. He will do the work. He will get the job done.