Lieutenant Colonel Gary Smith
Attack Location: Pentagon
Home: Fairfax County, Virginia
His touch when he coached youth soccer was magical, parents and players said.
Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Gary Smith, who was at a meeting at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 struck, had a rare calm and wisdom on the sidelines.
“He was just the sort of soccer coach you dream about having for your kid,” said Delegate Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax), whose daughter played on Smith's team. “He was funny and patient and kind.”
A man in uniform should have looked intimidating to a bunch of 12-year-old girls, said Amundson's daughter, Sara Conrath, now a college senior, but he didn't.
“He had this really calming voice,” she said. “He never yelled at us.”
Longtime friend Christine Lamb said Smith always asked about her family, even the family members he rarely saw.
“That's just the way Gary was,” she said. “He'd always find sort of a silver lining within what was happening.”
A close neighbor to the Smiths in the Waynewood section of Fairfax said her husband and Smith, 55, routinely attended local high school football games on Friday nights. The tradition went on for years.
The neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the family had been inundated with company since Tuesday. “Everybody loved him,” she said.
A sign on the Smith's door yesterday asked friends to respect the family's need to rest. Smith, who is listed as unaccounted for, has a wife, Ann, four daughters and two sons-in-law.
— Ann O'Hanlon
SMITH, GARY F., RET. LT. COL, USA (55)
Of Alexandria, Virginia, on September 11, 2001, at the attack on the Pentagon. Beloved husband of Ann L. Smith; father of Natalie S. Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah, Nicole Smith Amato of Palmyra, Virginia, Kristina Smith of Cuttingsville, Vermont and Teresa (Tracy) Smith of Charlottesville, Virginia. Son of Dorothy M. Smith and the late Daugherty M. Smith, Retired Colonel United State Army. Also survived by four brothers, Mason Smith of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Donald Bruce Smith of Manassas, Virginia, Stephen Smith of Atlanta, Georgia, Mark Smith of Herndon, Virginia and two sisters, Christine McKee of Glendale, Arizona and Annette Mashburn of Roanoke, Virginia.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Sunday, December 9, 2001 at Good Shepherd in Alexandria at 7 p.m.
Burial will be on Monday, December 10, 2001 at 11 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Family and friends will gather at the Memorial Gate at Arlington National Cemetery by 10:45 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the Gary F. Smith Memorial Fund: Army Retirement Service, Att: DAPE-RSO, 200 Stovall St., Alexandria, Virginia 22332-0470. Please specify, The West Potomac High School Scholarship Fund, Good Shepherd Housing Fund or The Rocky Versace Vietnam Memorial Fund.
NOTE: Colonel Smith was laid to rest in Section 64 of Arlington National Cemetery, in the shadows of the Pentagon.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard