As we've mentioned twice before, on Christmas Day 29-year-old Spc. Aaron Preston, who was from Dallas, was killed in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Exactly one week later, on New Year's Day, another soldier from the area was killed just outside of Baghdad: 20-year-old Spc. Richard Smith of Grand Prairie. He died from wounds he suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated as he was driving a Humvee with his unit during routine combat patrol. Another soldier -- 2o-year-old Cpl. Jonathan E. Schiller of Ottumwa, Iowa -- died in the attack; two others were injured. They were all assigned to the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood.
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I saw a mention of Smith's death on The Iraq Page, which, as I have mentioned before, dutifully keeps track of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq; at least 3,022 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since the start of the war on March 19, 2003. The site acts as a memorial; friends and family can post photos and memories of their loved ones killed in Iraq. Smith's entry on The Iraq Page contains this obituary, which ran inside the Metro section of The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. The story mentions that Richard's wife Amber, his high-school sweetheart who he married in July 2005, is expecting their first child in three months. --Robert Wilonsky