From Renee of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:
We have a fallen Hero from Soldiers' Angels, Spc. Richard A. Smith.
Spc. Smith, 20, of Grand Prairie, Texas died Dec. 31 in Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was conducting a combat patrol.
Richard was assigned to the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Richard is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart, Amber. Amber is due to give birth in three months to their first child.
Richard is also survived by his mother, Barbara Speer of Grand Prairie; his father and stepmother, James and Tammy Smith of Frisco; his brother, Andy Preston of Grand Prairie; and two sisters, Denise Thompson of Arlington and Jessica Preston of Grand Prairie.
The Dallas Morning News:
Spc. Smith married his high school sweetheart in July 2005 after completing boot camp.
"He loved her so much," said his mother, Barbara Speer of Grand Prairie. "He told me that the worst thing he could think of was if he died there... because he wouldn't want to hurt her."
She said her son had transformed his life since marrying Ms. Smith.
"He became very passionate about the Army and about doing what God was trying to tell him to do," his mother said. "I cried because I didn't want him to go into the service at first. Then he told me, 'Mom, I'm going because God called me, and you can't cry.' "
During the short time he served in the Army, Spc. Smith gained recognition as the 1st Cavalry Division's soldier of the year.
Remember our Heroes.