Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
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IRAQ: Like father, like son, another Smith goes to war

November 2, 2008 |  5:29 pm


For some of the Marines deploying Sunday to Iraq from Camp Pendleton, it was a family matter. Some had fathers or older brothers who had been Marines.

For the Smith family, it was like the replication of DNA.

Lance Cpl. Ryan Smith, 20, making his first deployment, is a helicopter crew chief.

His father, Keith Smith, is a retired Marine who had deployed to Somalia and Kuwait as a helicopter crew chief. Now he's a motorcycle officer with the Huntington Beach Police Department.

"He always wanted to be like his father, a real warrior since he was 2 years old," Brenda Smith, 45, said of her son.

Keith Smith, 47, said watching his son depart for a war zone was harder than deploying himself.

"Then I was in control, now I'm not," Smith said. "I just have to trust in his training."

Tony Perry, Camp Pendleton

Photo: Keith Smith embraces his son, Lance Cpl. Ryan Smith. Credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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