ARLINGTON (AP/CBSDFW.COM) – A 26-year-old North Texas Marine Corps reservist has been killed in action in Afghanistan.
A Defense Department statement issued Thursday says Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Smith of Arlington died Wednesday in combat in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan.
Smith was a 2003 graduate of Martin High School in Arlington. His family says his death is currently under investigation.
He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve based in Houston. A spokesman for the family says they have traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Maryland to await the return of Smith’s body.
The spokesman said Smith’s body would return to North Texas likely on Monday or Tuesday. Upon arrival to DFW, the Marine will be honored with a water cannon salute.
Martin High School counselor Susan Kingen said Smith decided to become a Marine after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He wanted to serve his country, she said. Kingen says she was proud of the man Smith had become. “He was an awesome, inspiring young man.”
She said he visited her two years ago and thanked her for her guidance. His father called her Thursday to break the news.
Funeral arraignments are planned for Friday. Smith will received a purple heart at graveside services at Dallas – Fort Worth National Cemetery.