Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army CWO Eric A. Smith

41, of California
Killed when his UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in central Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. Died on April 2, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army CWO Eric A. Smith.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Let me add in addition to my our previous message below that my dad's birthday is April 2nd, the day Eric passed away. My dad, I am sure is talking to him right now. Linda"
Nick, Linda and Morgan DeMatteo of Penfield, NY USA

"We won the jersey of hockey player from RIT college of Rochester, NY, Chase Norrish that he wore during the Veteran's day weekend game. (One Team One Fight). Each player wore a jersey that honored a fallen solder. We were fortunate that we won the bid on Chase's jersey and honored that Eric's Smith's name is sewn on his jersey, honoring him for his service. Thank you RIT for donating all the proceeds of the auction to support the veterans in many different areas of our local community. Thank you Eric for your service to our country. You will never be forgotten. We will think of you now and every time the jersey is worn. God Bless you and your family. Maybe sometime we could meet your family. It would be a special moment for us. Thank you."
Nick, Linda and Morgan DeMatteo of Penfield, NY USA

"I had the good fortune of meeting Eric in high school thru our mutual friend Woody. Although, I didn't know Eric too well, he did leave a lasting impression on me as a very good dude."
Mike Fici of Rochester, NY

"My name is Liam Smith and I am a second grader at Seoul American Elementary School. I have choosen you as my fallen hero for our school March for heroes on May 24, 2012. We have the same last name and you are my hero!"
Mrs. Lundy's Class of Seoul, Korea

"As I reflect back today in history I would like to acknowledge our fallen comrades of Aircraft 557 during Operation Iraqi Freedom,Karbala Gap, Iraq. From the past and current members of 2nd Battalion 3rd Aviation Regiment, Hunter AAF, GA your memories will always be shared by all. As you read this note, I will reflect back and forth from the past to the present.

I salute you all!

CW4 Eric Halvorsen CW2 Scott Jamar SGT Michael Pedersen

CW3 Eric Smith CPT. James Adamouski SPC Matthew Boule

CPT. James Adamouski

I will always remember the serious talk we had about marriage at NTC in Victorville, CA. You know I was feeling down about how members in the chain of command was talking so negative about my wife and I. You told me to get married and the hell with what everyone else in the battalion thought of us. You said being married and working in the same company wouldn't be that bad as they were trying to make it.

When we went to Iraq together they separated my wife and I. She stayed in Kuwait and I took the journey to Iraq. I remember when SPC McKain said, "Hey Hartley, how about you send letters through me to send to your wife". That started a trend and I was writting 4 to 6 pages a day. You would always ask if I wanted to fly down to Kuwait during your pickup runs. I finally got clearance from the Commander to fly from Iraq to Kuwait to see my wife on April 1, 2003. I spoke to you when I arrived in Kuwait on the flightline and everyone giggled then pointed to the clam shell hanger that my wife was in. Everyone said, "Don't miss your flight because we have a full house going back tonight." I said, " I understand." After flying for 4 hours I was able to spend a priceless 45 minutes with my wife and I can remember the moment as if it was 5 minutes ago. When I kissed my wife and then we started to taxi down the runway all I could think about is the fact that God will see us through the tough times we were facing.

As I arrived back at our FOB (Forward Operation Base) I knew that I only had the chance to get maybe four hours of sleep because the convoy was rolling at 0545. COL Fergusion broke the official news to the Battalion that you all didn't make it back in last night. As the 1SG called roll for his commander, it was silence, as he called for his crew chiefs; there was silence, as he called for his pilots, once again there was nothing spoken. A cold chill was amongst everyone. COL Fergusion concluded with saying, "We must stay focused on our mission and acknowledge the sacricifices these men have given our country." We had a prayer, a moment of silence, and then we went on to our trucks.

I bring this story up today to reflect back on how people can make an influence on our lives. I proposed to my wife in the desert at NTC only a day after my talk with CPT Adamouski concerning marriage. Today I couldn't be any happier to be with my beautiful wife Lashonda, my beautiful daughter Kamiesha, and my handsome son Chris III. I can say that we are a blessed family.

SPC Matthew Boule

Matthew you were always so full of energy and eager to fly. You loved your job so much and that made you noticable amongst all your fellow class mates that arrived at Hunter AAF, GA with you. I can remember many parties that we all attended together. Everyone in our Company was very close to each other as if we knew each other for years. Your memories will always remain with us.

CW4 Eric Halvorsen

Mr. Halvorsen we were on a professional level at all times. I remember when you stayed in Preston Grove Apartments with us in Georgetown. You would always speak but mainly stayed to yourself. We always respected that and we would always thank you for the praises that you would make to PC(production control) on how well avionics was maintaining the aircraft.

CW2 Scott Jamar and CW3 Eric Smith

I can say that you all never sweated the small stuff. You knew things had to be done and you would give SGT Carter and SSG Bartley heads up so we could get the job done.

SGT Michael Pedersen

Your house party in 2002 was the first house party that my wife and attended together. Everyone was there and no one got into any trouble that night either. We all had so much team cohesion during and after work. I remember when you moved out of your house located outside the Montgomery Gate and moved in with SPC Stewart off of Abercorn. I remember when I introduced you to my parents, my sister, and cousins during my 22nd birthday party at the Hunter Club. My wife surprised me that night, I didn't know she rented the whole club out for me. I was so surpised at how many people supported my birthday. Thanks Mike for all the great memories. They will live on forever."
Chris Hartley, Jr. of Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

"Remembering each of you "Storm 6" on this the eve of the anniversary and your families."
Lila Lipscomb, Mother Sgt. Michael Pedersen of Columbus, Ohio

"I miss my friend!"
John Brunner, Lt Col (Ret.) of Ann Arbor, Mi

"Although many have fallen and their losses mourned, Eric Smith will stand out as he was a one of kind. I was stationed with him in Sinai and again at Ft. Riley. I will never forget the many demonstrations of the "Sprinkler" and the Yoda impersonations. Always smiling and making those around him smile no matter the situation or conditions, he is missed by many. Thanks for the laughs."
SFC Fred Brooking of Ft Hood, TX

"Eric My Brother,

It has been seven years since we saw each other at Udari before crossing the berm and I miss your friendship dearly.

My children Joseph, Anna and Joyce know who you are and how important you are in my life. God Bless You.

Save a seat at the bar for Tommy and me.

Air Mobile. Air Cav.

CW5 John F. Reid of Bristow, Virginia, USA

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com

Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"I stopped and prayed this morning on the 7th anniversary for each of you the mighty "Storm Six", gone but not forgotten, each of you really do live on in our hearts!"
Lila Lipscomb, Mother of Sgt. Michael Pedersen of Flint, MI - USA

"Today is the 6th anniversary. I lower my flag to 1/2 staff for 6 days, one for Eric, Jim, Scott, Erik, Mike and our Mat. I'll never forget your guys sacrifice."
Ron Arteno of Auberry, Ca.

"Eric, I will miss you immensely. I remember when you first arrived at the 56th Aviation Company in Germany. I gave you flight orientations as well as training and evaluations, and how inquiring and dedicated you were. You even gave me advice on dental crowns. I pray that your family is comforted and that you are now in Heaven. Again, I miss you CW5 (RET) Don J. Everhart"
Don J. Everhart, CW5 RET of Alexandria, VA

"December 30, 2007
To the family of Chief Warrant Officer Eric A. Smith:
Eric gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Eric A Smith, my dear. Years had gone by without a single moment not thinking of you. We have planned so many things together for our future. Shared and endured good and not so good times. Your laughther is contagious, your love and spirit lives in my heart forever.
Until we meet again, miss you terribly."
Antartica of Jakarta, Indonesia

"I was stationed with Eric at K-16 in 93 flying Hueys. I have fond memories of him. I was young and impressionable and he showed me how to be a good warrant officer, pilot and person. He asked once "do you trust me?". And the answer is yes. I'll never forget that and I'll never forget Eric. To Eric's family please know that your loss is shared by me and many people you've never met.
CW4 Bill Miller"
William Miller of K-16, APO AP 96202

"Once again, we lower our Flag to half staff today for 6 days on this 4th anniversary of your last flight.
We will never forget your sacrifice.
We knew Mat Boule and miss him tremendously."
Ron Arteno of Auberry, California

"Every day that passes I remember the laughter and humor that Eric gave to all that were around him. While I was stationed with him in Kansas I was in the process of buying a new "Pubs" bag to fly with. Eric had recently purchased a new one and said that he would "give" me his old one if I agreed to take him to breakfast. I agreed and got into his car and he took me to Country Kitchen. He ordered enough food that I could have bought 3 pubs bags. Everyone had a good laugh about what had happened.
I have told that story to many people because I still carry that bag to this day on every flight.
Thank you for raising such a great person and Proud American.
CW3 Richard King of 82nd Airborne Division Khandahar Afghanastan OEF VIII

"CWO Smith,
Sir, I would like to say thank you to you and your fellow crewmembers for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike C of El Paso, Texas

"To the family of:Eric A. Smith I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"To the Family of Eric Smith,

I had the honor to serve with Eric in the 82nd MED Co. and also in Korea. He will always be the example of being upbeat and happy, loving life and making friends where ever he went. Eric will be missed, but his memory will live in our hearts forever."
CW3 Ray Lessing of EAATS Ft Indiantown Gap, PA

"Father's Day has come and gone again. I sooo wish you could've known your son. He's a WONDERFUL little boy!! I had a flag flown over our nation's capital on the anniversary of the crash. That flag is now proudly displayed in the loft next to Nathan's bedroom. We've just recently received copies of all of your service awards and medals. They will be cherished as Nathan learns more and more about the daddy he never got to know. We just attended our second TAPS event in DC; visited your niche; and celebrated the lives of all who have given all for this country. Nathan will grow up knowing his daddy is a hero and loving you with all the respect and pride that both of you deserve. (If anyone has any stories that they would like to share about Eric, you may email them to me at jamnmom@cox.net.) We miss you so much, Eric."
Robin of Topeka, KS

I know your daddy must be so very proud of you. You are getting so big, and a nice looking young man. Your mom said you had a nice time at TAPS. You continue to follow your dreams and I am sure your daddy will be by your side and smile as you grow. Colton did not get to see his daddy today either but we talked about him and that is very important. Take care of your MOMMY that will make your daddy PROUD ! To Eric, you would be very proud of Nathon he has a smile of GOLD and is very smart ! Tanya"

"I salute you!"
Angela Turman of Fort Worth, Texas

"Robin if i could leave a message on here for you. Please contact me at my email address momwithwings1963@yahoo.com Ref: to Fallen Hero
Also I am very sorry for your familys loss it is not easy at all we are finding that out FIRST HAND. Josh left a very young wife and a very small son. ALL WE HAVE ARE MEMORIES I SURE HOPE SOMEONE WHO HAS KNOWN THIS YOUNG SOLDIER CAN HELP this CHILD who is now just alittle older but it makes no diffrence HE NEEDS PHOTOS and and NICE Storys about his DADDY THIS CHILD NEEDS YOUR HELP GOD BLESS ROBIN and that sweet son of yours You are in my THOUGHTS and PRAYERS ...! TANYA OF MISSOURI"

"To a man whom will never be forgotten. You will always be missed."
Jamie Johnson of 2/227 AVN, Fort Hood, TX

"I would like to express My Condolences to Eric's Family and Friends. I was Eric's crewchief in 93'while we were stationed in Taegu,Korea(Camp Walker). He was an Outstanding Pilot,and a Great Friend. I will always remember his smile and his laugh. I will remember the time he and I went to the World Expo in Taejon.He will be sorely missed and I for one, am proud and honored to have known and served with him.He was indeed a Great and Wonderful Person."
Richard (Rick) Colvin of Huntsville, Alabama

"I knew Eric in Rochester and lived with him in California before he went in the service. Someone mentioned his laugh and that really is what I remember and miss most. It was contagious. All his friends from Rochester miss him terribly. One thing for sure is he was one of a kind. I hope he is somewhere with our other friend Scotty we recently lost having a whole lot of fun. Knowing Reke they are."
Jon Orgel of Charlotte, NC USA

"I met Eric in May, 1999 when he was an Instructor at Ft. Riley, KS. His son, Nathan, had just turned 3 when Eric died. They never met. Still....we grieve. We grieve the loss of a brave man...we grieve the loss of a father - now known as 'daddy Eric.' Nathan kisses him good night; talks about him daily...but doesn't have the memories that other kids have of their daddies. We grieve all of this; and we miss Eric very much. We want to thank all who have expressed their sympathies. And a special thanks to Tim Rivera for this website. (I met Tim in Washington DC a few days ago; and it's clear that he really cares about these soldiers and their families.) Thank you to all."
Robin Leininger of Topeka, KS

"Eric, John and I were going to meet up in Bahrain for a beer after it all ended. We were all in Kuwait at the time. He never made it.

I met him in Germany during our first tour out of flight school (56th Avn Co, 70th Trans Bn, Coleman Barracks, Mannheim FRG). We were both flying helicopters and I was assigned as his sponsor. We spent many nights in the O club and TDY in different countrys. PCS seperated us after Germany but we always crossed paths at Ft. Rucker, deployments or various TDY's. He was a great guy and I will miss him.

Sorry we never made it for that beer. It will just have to wait.

Your lifting buddy who is now in the Iowa National Guard"
Ed Stettin of Ames, Iowa

"Please, accept my condolences in a song of Tribute...titled,

"It Is The Soldier"...In Honor Of & Dedicated to my youngest son, David...4 weeks now, "The Soldier." And, in memory of my cousin, Guy Lamar Mears, Jr...who gave his life for this GREAT NATION in Vietnam.

All downloads are FREE.


Sincerely, Susan D. Wiseman"
Susan D. Wiseman of Atlanta, Ga. U.S.A

"To the friends and family of Eric A. Smith:
My husband was KIA in Iraq on June 4, 2004 and I would like to express my condolences for your tragic loss. Nothing can make the pain go away, but he will always watch over you and one day you will be reunited in heaven. Eric will be remembered forever and will live on forever in your hearts."
Sarah Linden of Portland, OR USA

"Eric my beloved, sweet & loving friend, Thank YOU for the friendship you've given me. The memories, joy and laughter that you have shared with me will always be remembered and treasured. God bless you, my friend. Fly high in the heaven, as you constanly sing me the song "Fly me to the moon" My prayers and deep condolences to the family and friends in your loss. Until we meet again, Eric."
Inarti Tirto of Athens, Greece

"I am a 7th grade student from Western New York. My family and I have watched the news a lot and we have seen all of the heroes that have died. I feel really bad for the famlies that have lost loved ones.. I am sure the friends and family of Eric will miss him because he seems like a pretty nice man. I appreciate the time men and women have takin to help our country. I think anyone that is helping our country is very brave because they are risking there lives to help our country.If I could help in any way I will. Be sure to treat yourself at good times and celebrate the good time you have spent together."
7th Grade Student

"Low Flight"

Dedicated to Eric A. Smith

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,

And Hovered out of Ground Effect on Semi-Ridgid Blades.

Earthward I've Auto'ed, and met the Rising Brush of Non-Paved Terrain;

And done a thousand things you would never care to.

Skidded and Dropped and Flared Low in the Heat Soaked Roar.

Confined there, I've chased the Earthbound Traffic

And Lost the race due to Insignificant Headwinds.

Forward and up a Little in Ground Effect,

I've Topped the Admirals hedge with drooping turns,

Where never SkyHawk nor even Tomcat Flew.

Shaking and Pulling Collective, I've Lumberd

The Low untresspassed Halls of Victor Airways;

Put out my Hand, and Touched a Tree.

Today Eric you Fly with Angels. Thank you for your Dedication and Sacrifice. "Godspeed Chief..."
Dennis B. Dray MAJ (R) ARNG of Tucson, AZ

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Eric, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Remember Them..In loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family (USMC) of Lakeland, TN

"Warrant Officer Smith, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Thank you Eric Smith, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"I know how much each of you meant to Michael, he loved you as he loved himself, and as you he gave his all. Thank you for helping his life to be full. Fly high with our Father in Heaven and tell Michael we miss and love him! From Sgt. Michael Pedersen's Family."
Lila Lipscomb of Flint, Michigan USA

"I have movies and pictures of Eric in Iraq and Kuwait compiled from soldiers who were there. Contact me at artenort@netptc.net and I will forward them to you. We share your loss."
Ron Arteno of Auberry, California

"Eric is one of those people that you will never forget, especially his laugh. I had the "HONOR" to serve with Eric as a medic in the 82nd Med at Riley, and now i'm a pilot because of his wisdom and mentorship. I fought with Eric in Iraq and his death liberated a country. Just be honored to be a person that Eric called a friend. I know I am and always will be. DUSTOFF!"
CW2 James Boyett of 101st Airborne Division (Tall Afar, IRAQ) 50th Med Co. (AA)

"I shared many a wonderful time with Eric in Kansas where we both served as Medivac Instructor Pilots. Eric "A shining example of what it means to be a Honorble Warrior". He loved the important things in life and had a passion for Aviation shared by few. You will be missed my "Brother from another Mother"."
Scott D Frickson of Eagle River Alaska.

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you brave soldier, your courage and sacrifice will nerver be forgotten."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"Words cannot be put in place of how much Eric will be missed by all those who have been blessed enough to share a part of their lives with him.

Mixed with the feelings of sorrow and loss are also memories filled with humor. All of my vivid memories of Eric are tied to so many funny occasions filled with his infectious laugh. He had a spark that would make even the most mundane of times a memory that makes you smile.

Thank you Eric. Thank you for being someone I could respect, learn from, and laugh with. Our loss is truly Heavens gain."
Bret Potter (Boomer DUSTOFF) of San Antonio, Texas

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
Jane Howard, "Families"

Eric was part of everone's family. I will miss him, I will not forget the the memories that I have of him and how he impacted my life. Eric's death has been felt throughout the DUSTOFF Community, his knowledge and professionalism will be missed."
SSG Patrick Muirhead of 236th Medical Company, Landstuhl Germany

"To the family and friends of CWO Eric Smith:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Eric for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of CWO Eric Smith:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Eric, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"You will be missed dearly, You were a great freind and a mentor. May God Bless you and your loved ones left behind."
Douglas Ronkainen of Retired Ft. Rucker, Al

"You had a laugh and a smile that was contagious. My thoughts and prayers are with your friends and family."
SSgt Emili A. Sadler (EAS) of Holloman AFB, NM

"I will miss you."
Dana of Alaska

"God Bless You. God Bless your family. God Bless our nation. With deepest Respect for 'Boomers' everywhere."
Moon Mullins of Louisville, Kentucky

"Look God:
I have never spoken to You,
But now I want to say,
"How do You do."

You see God,
they told me You did not exist;
And, like a fool,
I believed all of this.

Last night from a shell hole
I saw Your sky;
I figured right then
they had told me a lie.
Had I taken the time
to see the things You made,
I would know they weren't calling
a spade a spade.

I wonder, God,
if You would shake my hand;
Somehow, I feel
that You will understand.
Strange, I had to come
to this hellish place
Before I had time to see Your face.

Well, I guess there isn't
much more to say,
But I am sure glad, God,
I met You today.

I guess the zero hour
will soon be here,
But I am not afraid
since I know You are near.

The signal - well, God,
I will have to go;
I love you lots,
this I want you to know.
Looks like this will be
a horrible fight;
Who knows, I may come
to your house tonight.

Though I wasn't friendly
with you before,
I wonder, God,
if you would wait at the door.

Look, I am crying,
me shedding tears!
I wish I had known you
these many years.

Well, I will have to go now, God.
Strange, since I met you,
I am not afraid to die.

RIP Brave Soldier...."
The Taylors, USMC of North Carolina

"Brother Eric, The "BOOMERS" of the 82nd Dustoff are going miss you. We enjoyed your words of wisdom especially at Fort Sill. You were among the best my friend and you will be missed by all that knew you."
Craig Slessinger of Fort Lewis, Washington

"I spent many hours flying as a crewchief with Eric while he was assigned at 82nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance), Fort Riley, Kansas. He was an outstanding pilot and instructor and will be sorely missed. The Army Aviation community has lost one of its finest."
Donald Moore of Fort Belvoir, Virginia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on