Based: Ft. Polk, La.
4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 7, 2008
Married, 1 child
Hometown: South Lake Tahoe
High School: South Tahoe High (South Lake Tahoe)
Smith, a 25-year-old sergeant, was killed April 7 when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Baghdad. The combat engineer was clearing roads of improvised explosive devices when the explosion occurred.
Smith had wanted to join the Army since he was a rambunctious youngster watching war movies, said his mother, Patricia Smith, 53, of South Lake Tahoe.
"He just always wanted to help people," she said. "He was always a protector."
She sensed that her eldest son was looking for direction after he graduated from South Lake Tahoe High School in 2001. Although he had worked as a valet at the Embassy Suites hotel in town and as a host at the Hard Rock Cafe just across the border in Stateline, Nev., he wanted to do more with his life, his mother said.
[Riley's wife] said she chatted with her husband by instant messenger the night before he died. She wishes she had saved that conversation but remembered his words.
"Baby, I drive the most up-armored vehicle the military makes," he wrote. "I've found my soul mate. Nothing is taking me away from you."
Eight hours later, he went out on his last mission.
In addition to his mother, wife and Riley, he is survived by his father, Michael Smith, 50, of Reno; and a brother, Tommy Smith, 23, and sister, Jackie Smith, 21, both of South Lake Tahoe.
Read the entire LA Times article about Army Sergeant Timothy M. Smith here, find more at Arlington Cemetery and visit Sergeant Smith's Guest Book.
Sergeant Timothy M. Smith's mother, Patricia Smith, left, sister Jackie Smith, and brother Tommy Smith during the Arlington National Cemetery service.