Fitness center named in honor of fallen hero
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - A newly-built fitness center on Victory Base Complex was dedicated April 10 in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Paul. R. Smith, a man his peers and seniors said demanded perfection. The Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith Physical Fitness Center serves residents of Camp Victory and other surrounding installations including Camp Liberty. "It's fitting that we dedicate a fitness center to a man who had high standards, loved Soldiers and loved helping them become better and stronger," said Brig. Gen. William Grimsley, deputy commander of the 4th Infantry Division. At the time of Smith's death, Grimsley was the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division commander. Staff Sgt. Steven Holloway, a 3rd Infantry Division engineer, former member of Smith's platoon and a personal friend, agreed naming the fitness center after Smith was apt, since Smith constantly pushed his Soldiers to be disciplined, fit and "perfect," he said. "He was a person who demanded perfection from his Soldiers. When his squad ran infantry battle drills, if they were good, but not perfect, he'd say, 'run it again.'" On April 4, 2003, Holloway was just 100 yards from Smith at the time Smith was mortally wounded by braving enemy fire and engaging the attacking force, saved the lives of numerous wounded Soldiers. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Multi-National Division - Center; Grimsley; Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Andrews, senior enlisted leader for Multi-National Division - Center; and Holloway unveiled a sign that read 'Sgt. 1st Class Smith Physical Fitness Center' and contained a picture of Smith smiling, battle-ready. "I hope that the thousands who come through (the fitness center) see his name, see his face and take time to learn about the great Soldier, the great man that he was," Holloway said.

Page last updated Thu April 10th, 2008 at 15:21