Retired Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Leslie K. (Ken) Smith passed away in the early morning of May 11, 2016 from the overall effects of the Vietnam War and Agent Orange exposure. Following high school graduation, he joined the Army as an Armored Reconnaissance Specialist (Scout) but in his first assignment to Freiburg, Germany was made a tank driver. Thus began Ken’s love of scouting and tanks.
He was reassigned to Fort Meade and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and deployed with the Regiment to an area outside Saigon where he saw heavy fighting. Ken would return in 1971 where he served as a Cavalry Platoon Leader/Sergeant until wounded for his fourth time. He then served as a Drill Sergeant.
Ken was then assigned to Amberg, Germany where he performed the same peacetime duties with a Cavalry Platoon for five years. Returning to Fort Carson he was promoted and returned to Amberg where he served as First Sergeant of Company M and Headquarters Troop. He then returned to his family at Fort Carson, graduated from the Sergeants Major Academy, and served as the CSM of the 4th Battalion 68th Armor (Silver Lions). During his career he earned the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with V, four Purple Hearts, and four Army Commendation Medals.
After retirement he had a second career as a rural mail carrier, and when he finally retired, enjoyed his involvement with veteran’s groups and friends. He leaves behind his wife Linda of over forty years and two adult sons, Donald and Michael Smith; one grandchild; and very close family friend, Darren Koch and his son.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home, 1730 East Fountain Boulevard, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80910. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home. Inurnment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.