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Air Force Senior Airman Bradley R. Smith

Died January 3, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


24, of Troy, Ill.; assigned to the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Jan. 3 near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting combat operations.


Airman was based at Army post

The Associated Press

TROY, Ill. — The Defense Department says an airman from southwestern Illinois was killed by a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

Senior Airman Bradley Smith, 24, of Troy died Jan. 3 near Kandahar Airfield. He was assigned to the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Riley, Kan.

Jim Wiens, Smith’s pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Troy, says Smith followed in his brother’s footsteps when he joined the Air Force in November 2006.

Wiens says Smith’s wife had a daughter in October.

The pastor says Smith’s parents arrived Jan. 4 at Dover Air Force Base, Del., to receive their son’s remains.

Funeral arrangements are pending.


Services scheduled for fallen airman

The Associated Press

TROY, Ill. — Services will be held in the coming days for an airman from southwestern Illinois who was killed by a bomb earlier this month in Afghanistan.

Senior Airman Bradley Smith, 24, of Troy was killed Jan. 3 near Kandahar Airfield. He was assigned to the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Riley, Kan.

Smith joined the Air Force in November 2006. He and his wife had a daughter in October.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 10 at Bethel Baptist Church in Troy. Services will be at that church at 11 a.m. Jan. 11.


‘He always had a plan’

The Associated Press

Bradley R. Smith was about family — the close-knit one he came from, and the one he was building with his wife, Tiffany, and newborn daughter — but he also enjoyed spending time with the guys.

“Brad was a boy’s boy,” said a friend, Tim Kalb. “He had an eager spirit and was always looking for the next adventure.”

He recalled nights when Smith and his friends would camp in the forest, make inedible burnt breakfasts over a fire — and the time they accidentally set the woods ablaze.

Others at his funeral remembered how Smith played football, mentored youth at his church and bought fast-food meals for homeless people standing in intersections.

Smith, 24, of Troy, Ill., died Jan. 3 of wounds from a blast near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, less than a month after being deployed. He was assigned to Fort Riley, Kan.

His youth pastor, John Shaw, said the 2004 graduate of Triad High School had taught him to live more zealously and share his faith.

“He got excited about the smallest things, and he always had a plan, he was always thinking,” he said.

Smith’s survivors also include his parents, Gary and Paula; and his brother and fellow airman, Ryan.

Categories: 2019honorees

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