One Year Later: Randall Smith an 'American Hero' - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

One Year Later: Randall Smith an 'American Hero'

Posted: Updated:
U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith was a young family man who stepped up to serve our country, and left a mark on the Chattanooga community.

Randall was proud to serve his country for many reasons, inspired to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. 

His career in the Navy took him to the Great Lakes, Mississippi, and Norfolk, VA before re-enlisting. 

That's when Randall was assigned to the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, where he trained and transported active duty Navy personnel. 

Smith's mother, Paula Proxmire, visited the memorials honoring him and four other servicemen. Proxmire says her son died doing what he loved. 

"My son, my son is a hero. He died doing what he loved. He wouldn't had it no other way," said Paula Proxmire, Smith's mother. 

"He's my life. He's my world. I have half a heart left, and it's her - my daughter. He's gone."

Randall loved his brothers and sisters in the military, and helped protect them even while under fire on seemingly safe ground.

Family members say he saw the shooter and warned people around him, before being shot himself.  

He fought up to his last breath, taken in a hospital bed some 40 hours after being attacked. 

Randall's number one priority was his wife and three beautiful little girls. Many described him as a fun dad, which can be seen in this cell phone video as he sang with them in the car. 

Earlier this year, his girls were there to receive a Purple Heart in their father's honor. Randall also had dreams beyond the Navy, as he was working on his degree in hospital administration. 

Powered by Frankly