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CAMP AL QA'IM, Iraq (March 22, 2005)- Marines with the security platoon of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment pray for their fallen brother Lance Cpl. Kevin Smith who was killed in action by a vehicle borne improvised explosive device March 21. The Memorial ceremony took place here March 22. Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel (RELEASED)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel

3/2 Marines honor fallen brother

3 May 2005 | Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel

A memorial ceremony was held here for Lance Cpl. Kevin Smith March 22.The Springfield, Ohio, native was killed in action by a suicide-vehicle borne improvised explosive device while conducting security and stabilization operations in the Al Anbar province March 21.The Marines of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment honored their fallen brother with speeches from the battalion commander, battalion chaplain, Smith's platoon commander, squad leader and best friend in the platoon.His Kevlar helmet, combat boots, rifle and dog tags in front of the colors were a symbol of his sacrifice for his country and for freedom.Sgt. Clive S. Chinatomby was his squad leader and describes Smith as a special kind of Marine."He was a team leader and was the first one to jump up and volunteer for anything. He was always there for his Marines. He was always the last one to go to bed and he'd make sure his Marines were good-to-go before he went to sleep, Chinatomby explained. "He was always my go to guy. Anytime I'd go to him with something, it would get done."Many of the Marines of his security platoon felt that he was more than just a good Marine."He was not only a good Marine but a good friend. You could talk to him about anything, and he was that type of guy; a guy you could always go to no matter what problem you had," Chinatomby said."He was one of my best friends. No matter what, you could always count on him," explained Lance Cpl. Nathan Ruckensteiner, who was in Smith's platoon and had known him since December 2003."He would do anything for you. He would stop everything he was doing to help you," explained Cpl. Lee J. Parry, who's known Smith for a year.Smith was described as a hard worker and a perfectionist who never settled for anything less than first place."He was a hard worker who always gave 120 percent. With weapons systems, he was a wiz. He could take apart a M240G medium machine gun twice in a minute and 48 seconds. He took pride in it, he enjoyed his job and enjoyed being a Marine," Chinatomby continued. "If he came in second place in anything he would work that much harder to be first."According to Parry, Smith was considered to be light-hearted and somewhat of a comedian."He always took the stress away. He was the comic relief and always had something smart to say," Parry explained."He kept me on my toes. Everything in life had a smart comment. He always had a come back for you and he taught me to not take life that serious, because there is always a lighter side to things. He made situations a lot less stressful," Chinatomby explained.Smith's passing has left an empty hole that won't be replaced within the security platoon."Out here we're going to continue to do things the right way, because that's how he did it. We lost a friend and a good Marine. He was the quarterback on this team; my go to guy and you truly can never replace that," Chinatomby said."I will try to apply the way he was to the way I am, and I know that he made me a better person," Ruckensteiner explained.His fellow Marines and the entire battalion will always remember Smith's service and sacrifice for his country. He was 20-years-old.