Posted October 17, 2004 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

Brian D. Smith: Soldier and Hot Sauce Lover

By TY ALLISON / The Dallas Morning News

Second Lt. Brian D. Smith was unwavering in his decision to join the U.S. Army.

The 30-year-old McKinney native set aside a successful career in law to assuage a lifelong interest in the art of war and the utilization of the tank.

“When he was a child, he became fascinated with stories his grandfather told about being in war,” said his mother, Linda Smith of McKinney. “When he got older, he read anything he could get his hands on that had to do with the military and tanks.”

He was a voracious history and science fiction reader who loved to spend hours at the computer. He enjoyed acting with a group he joined in college and sharing his deep baritone voice, family members said.

On Friday, while on patrol in Habbaniyah, Iraq, near Fallujah, Lt. Smith was killed by enemy fire.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 315 N. Church St. in McKinney. There also will be services at Fort Riley, Kan., and Austin, where he lived.

He will be cremated along with a bottle of Dave’s Insanity Hot Sauce. “He ate it with practically everything,” said his wife, Kathleen Carroll-Smith of Austin.

Lt. Smith was born in Atlanta on Nov. 3, 1973. He grew up in McKinney and graduated from McKinney High School, where he played trumpet, sang in choir and performed in one-act plays.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994 and obtained his law degree in 1998 from Baylor University’s School of Law. While at UT, he became a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. It was in this group that he met his future wife. They married on Sept. 21, 2003.

He practiced law in McKinney and Austin. After successfully working with two firms, he decided to fulfill his childhood dream of driving a tank.

“We talked about him joining the service,” Ms. Carroll-Smith said. “He always said to me, ‘I need to find something that I can be, something that I can put a stamp on and claim for myself,’ ” she said.

He enlisted in January 2003, following the examples of his father and grandfather, both decorated war veterans.

“During Officer Candidate School he got his wish,” she remembered of his first experience driving a tank. “He thought it was grand fun to shoot and blow up things.”

Lt. Smith had been stationed at Fort Riley since December and was deployed to Iraq in January. He was a platoon leader of Company A, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st Infantry Division.

Friends have considered compiling his e-mails, journal entries and photographs about Iraq into a book.

In addition to his wife and mother, Lt. Smith is survived by his father, Dr. William Smith of McKinney; sister, Dr. Erin M. Smith of Austin; and grandfather, William M. Benton of McKinney.

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog