ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – An Arlington marine, who died in combat operations in Afghanistan, was laid to rest Friday. Staff Sergeant Jeremy Smith is believed to have been the victim of friendly fire in the southern province of Helmand.
His friends, family and fellow Marines, gathered at the Grace Community Church for an emotional tribute for the local military man remembered for his courage and commitment to his country.
“Jeremy, your Marines are in debted to your service and sacrifice,” USMC Lt. Col. Patrick Johnson said.
“Jeremy lived his life all or nothing – no regrets – that’s who I want to strive to be like,” said Smith’s wife, Rachel.
It was a finality no one in attendance was quite ready to accept. Decorated Marine, 26-year-old SSGT Smith was given a final salute – a tearful tribute by those who loved him most.
“That was my brother… loving and beautiful. I stand before each of you, knowing you were all loved by my brother.”
His was a life lived with valor, honor and above all – sacrifice. Smith graduated from Martin High school in 2003, and always had aspirations of serving his country. His grieving brothers from the military stood side-by-side to honor their hero.
“I do remember how much fun we had like three big kids driving down dirt trail, shooting and grinning from ear to ear,” recalled Cpl. Ryan Bruska.
Smith was on his fourth tour of duty when he was killed in Afghanistan. It’s believed he fell victim to friendly fire.
Smith was buried at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery; the final resting place where he’ll remain in the company of others who shared his commitment to country.
“This isn’t the end for Jeremy it’s a new beginning for him in heaven,” Smith’s father, Jerry Smith said. “This is not the end for us here, it is a new beginning without him. We’ll miss him dearly.”
Staff Sergeant Jeremy Smith’s death is currently under investigation. His father said he wants to focus on the life his son lived, rather than how he died.