Specialist Smith was seriously wounded in action on 21 October 1966 while serving with the B Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. His gallantry earned him the Silver star. His Silver star citation reads:
“On that date, Specialist Smith was called with the rest of his platoon to provide security for several men who had been wounded by two command detonated Viet Cong claymore mines. The injured men were being harassed by an estimated ten men insurgent force in the jungle region south of Lai Khe base camp. Immediately upon reaching the embattled men Specialist Smith detected several Viet Cong talking in an area to his front. He immediately fired upon their position with his machine gun. The insurgents countered with an intense barrage of fire striking Specialist Smith in the chest. Weak from his injury, Specialist Smith protected the assistant machine gunner from the intense hostile fire with his own body. When his strength returned Specialist Smith disregarded this painful wound, took over the machine gun and commenced firing at the Viet Cong until he was mortally wounded. Specialist Four Smith’s unquestionable valor in close combat against numerically superior hostile forces is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division and the United States Army.”
On October 23, 1966, he had a nurse help him write a letter to his mom stating that he was injured but getting better, and that he would be coming home in a week or so.
His wounds however proved fatal, and he died 7 days later.
We honor you, Terry Smith.