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Army Sgt. 1st Class Scott R. Smith

Died July 17, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

34, of Punxsutawney, Pa.; assigned to 737th Explosive Ordnance Detachment, 52nd Ordnance Group, Fort Belvoir, Va.; died July 17 of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated during a controlled ordnance clearing mission in Iskandariyah, Iraq.

Picatinny memorializes soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — He died in Iraq while doing his job — disarming bombs. Now, more than a year later, Picatinny Arsenal has honored Sgt. 1st Class Scott R. Smith by placing his name on the military building here where he used to work.

At a ceremony July 17 at the Morris County military installation, friends and loved ones of the Pennsylvania native remembered him as an affable fix-it man who didn’t shirk from dangerous tasks.

“He saved lives and did things most of us couldn’t imagine,” said Smith’s widow, 27-year-old Gari-Lynn Smith.

“He was courageous and unintimidated by any situation,” Gari-Lynn Smith said during the ceremony, in which a bronze plaque with her husband’s likeness was unveiled.

Master Sgt. Gregory T. Miller, who worked with Smith as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist, remembered his friend by his nickname — “Smitty.”

“He was happy, he never let things get him down,” Miller said of the 34-year-old Punxsutawney, Pa., man.

Smith worked as a mechanic before joining the Army in the early 1990s, becoming a military policeman. Responding to bomb threats got him interested in disarming explosives.

At Picatinny, Smith worked at the building now named after him, where he and his colleagues helped train bomb recognition and disposal to other soldiers. Smith was also involved in developing and testing robots designed to detect bombs.

Smith was based at Picatinny from 2000 until February 2006, when he was deployed to Iraq. He died on July 17, 2006, while attempting to defuse an improvised explosive device when another exploded nearby, according to the Army.

Smith always knew his job was a dangerous one, Miller said.

“He accepted that in stride, and he never said ‘no’ to a hard task,” Miller said.

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