View Full Version : Marine from Avon Lake critically injured in Iraq

11-01-06, 07:56 AM
Marine from Avon Lake critically injured in Iraq
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
John P. Coyne
Plain Dealer Reporter

A Marine from Avon Lake serving in Iraq was in serious condition in a hospital in Germany after he was shot when his unit came under attack while on patrol, family members said.

Marine Lance Cpl. Colin Smith, 19, was shot in the head, said his mother, Melissa Smith. He was then flown to a hospital in Germany.

Smith joined the Marines after graduating from Avon Lake High School, his mother said.

He was sent to Iraq from Camp Lejeune, N.C., in July.

"His father was in the Army and [Colin] knew he wasn't college bound, so he wanted to get some experience in the service," his mother said.

She said he signed up for the Marines a year before he graduated and chose that branch of service because "the Marines were best of the best."

She described her son as "a chick magnet" who liked to have fun. "He made friends wherever he went," she said. He was last home at the end of June.

Neither Smith nor her ex-husband, Robert Smith, had details of the attack.

Lorain Patrolman Douglas Smith, the Marine's un cle, said his nephew was in Iraq's An bar province when he was wounded about 3 a.m. Monday (Cleveland time).

Douglas Smith said his nephew suffered a severe brain injury and is now on life support.

Smith usually served as a turret gunner on a Humvee, but the family did not know whether he was in a Humvee when he was shot.

Smith "was a good kid, who had lots of friends," Avon Lake schools Superintendent Robert Scott said. "The teachers liked him."

"It was sort of funny because in his senior picture, he has this big mop of black hair, down over his eyes," Scott said.

The school posts photos of all its graduates who are in the service, he said, and in that picture, "he looks like a Marine."

"He was very dedicated," Scott said. Joining the Marines "is what he really wanted to do."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

jcoyne@plaind.com, 216-999-4845