SGT James Smith, 29
Tuscarawas, Ohio
Veteran of OIF

Smith, a 2000 graduate of Indian Valley High at Gnadenhutten, entered the Army in May 2005. He recently returned from duty in South Korea and was stationed at Fort Campbell. He was assigned to the Second Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, as a water treatment specialist. His previous duty stations include Fort Hood, Texas.

He also served a 15-month tour in support of Multi-National Division at Baghdad and was based at Camp Stryker, Iraq.

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver and Mechanic Badge.

Smith was athletic and a competitor in high school, according to Bill Gilmore, his wrestling coach at Indian Valley.

“What a shame,” Gilmore said of his death. “He was a state qualifier his senior year in 2000, and was a two-year letterman. He’s one of those kids in school that you know he’s always going to work hard.

“He was making something of himself, that’s for sure. Jimmy faced a lot of adversity early in his life but got through it. He was doing the right thing. This is obviously a tragedy.”

Gilmore said he and Larry Holmes recalled when they took the wrestlers to the state tournament, how awed Smith was.

“He appreciated everything everybody did for him, that’s for sure,” said Gilmore.

“Everybody loved him,” said Joey Ellwood of Columbus, an IV graduate who was on the wrestling team with him. “He was wiry, a good wrestler and a great guy.”

: Close Window :