Wednesday, July 11, 2012

CW4 Bobby Smith, United States Army, Ret.

Bobby Smith passed away at his home in Waco, Texas on April 23, 2012 at the age of 76.

Bobby proudly served his country for 26 years, beginning in the United States Marine Corps and then transferring to the Army.  He rose in the enlisted ranks to Staff Sergeant before attending flight school and becoming an Aviation Warrant Officer.

His service included a tour of duty in Korea, two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, and selection to the Presidential Flight Staff.

His love of flying continued after his retirement from the Army as he flew commercially for many years and then built his own airplane.

Bobby earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering through Embry Riddle University and used his knowledge to design and build electronic components for aircraft as well as computers and ham radios.

After his wife's death in 2002, he found a new passion in motorcycles and enjoyed traveling the country on two wheels.

An inurnment service, with full military honors, was held on June 12 at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.  In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags around the committal shelter during the service.

The United States Army Honor Guard rendered the honors.  The detail of five rifles fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country.  The Army bugler, standing in the shade of a live oak tree, played taps.  The flag that had rested against the cremains was carefully unfolded and refolded into a tight triangle, and presented to Bobby's son, Frank, on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for his honorable and faithful service.

A second folded American flag was presented to Bobby's daughter, Marilyn, who is a dedicated Patriot Guard Rider.

The cremains of CW4 Bobby Smith were buried nearby, as the American flag flew at half-staff, in his honor, on the hill above.

Left to cherish his memory are his son, two daughters, a brother, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

With thanks to the Waco Tribune-Herald for biographical information and to Amanda Carter for additional photographs.

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