- Date of passing: May 26, 2007
|Let the memory of Sgt. Erich be with us forever|
23, of Trumann, Ark.; assigned to A Company, 875th Engineer Battalion of the Arkansas Army National Guard in Marked Tree, Ark.; died May 26 near Balad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
Arkansas soldier dies in Iraq
The Associated Press
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas soldier serving with the 875th Engineer Battalion in Iraq has died in the war, the Arkansas National Guard said in a Memorial Day news release Monday.
Sgt. Erich S. Smallwood of Trumann died near Balad, Iraq, on Saturday after an improvised explosive device blew up near his vehicle.
Smallwood, 23, was a member of Company B based in Marked Tree, but was serving with the battalion’s Company A from Jonesboro during deployment.
Maj. Gen. William D. Wofford, the guard’s adjutant general, said Smallwood’s death was “another heartbreaking loss” for the state and for the country.
“But, today, as we honor all of our men and women in uniform who have lost their lives in service to the nation, we hold a special thought for Erich and his family,” Wofford said.
Smallwood was the first member of the 875th and the 21st Arkansas National Guard member to die in the Iraq war, according to the release. Overall, a count by The Associated Press shows 42 military members from Arkansas have died in the Iraq war. Two Arkansans have died in Afghanistan.
About 400 soldiers from the 875th Engineer Battalion were mobilized for duty July 19. The battalion is scheduled to return this fall.
"Forever missed and never forgotten!!!"
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