Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Christopher G Smith

Grand Rapids, Michigan

December 24, 2008

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
28 Army SSG

3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

Fort Carson, Colorado

 Died in Baghdad, of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over.

Army Spc. Stephen M. Okray 21, of St. Clair Shores

2 soldiers from Michigan remembered for devotion

The Associated Press
Two soldiers from Michigan who were among three who died when their vehicle crashed on Christmas Eve in Baghdad are being remembered by relatives for their devotion to their families.
The Department of Defense on Friday identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Christopher G. Smith, 28, of Grand Rapids; Spc. Stephen M. Okray, 21, of St. Clair Shores; and Spc. Stephen G. Zapasnik, 19, of Broken Arrow, Okla.
Bobbi Jo Smith told The Detroit News that her husband was an entertainer who loved to hold parties and grill briskets and ribs.
“He really lived for his family. He was that kind of guy,” Bobbi Jo said of her husband, who leaves behind a 15-month-old son.
Smith’s parents are Pastor Virgil Glenn and Donna Smith of the Evangelife Assembly of God Church near Bad Axe, The Grand Rapids Press reported.
Okray’s aunt, Denise Okray, said her nephew loved to hunt and fish.
“When someone was worried or felt like there was a problem, he was like, ‘Shrug it off; it’s OK,”’ Denise Okray told The News. “He was always family-oriented.”
Zapasnik’s mother, Chris Zapasnik, said her son’s company commander told her that he and the two Michigan soldiers were riding in a Humvee when part of a road collapsed, sending the vehicle into a canal. All three were dead when they were pulled from the water several minutes after the crash, Chris Zapasnik told the Tulsa World.
The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

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