One Region 8 Church Honors Local Hero - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Blytheville, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

One Region 8 Church Honors Local Hero

December 05, 2004 -- Posted at 10:30 p.m. CST

BLYTHEVILLE -- "My great, great grandfather was in the military, my great grandfather, grandfather, father, four of my brothers, and one of my sisters is in the military,"said Anthony Smith.

Smith is a Major in the Arkansas Army National Guard.

He proudly served his country fighting for freedom in a place that has seen little peace.

"It's hard when you go over there and see all of the suffering and talk to the kids.  When they say I want to live free like you live free, it gives you incentive to fight harder, and if I had the opportunity to go back I would,"said Smith.

As he was helping pave the way to freedom, he and other soldiers fell under brutal insurgent attack.

"Internal damage, losing my kidney, my right hip, some functions of my right leg, and I ended up losing my right hand,"said Smith.

Anthony Smith is on the road to recovery now, but his journey is not a smooth one.

There are physical limitations he faces each day, but his undying spirit gives him more strength now, than he has ever had before.

Tim Beers is the Pastor at Gospel Lighthouse Church in Blytheville.

"He showed me something..... how to be strong in the greatest of adversities. When you are fighting for your life, and yet your faith remains strong, that is huge,"said Beers.

To this congregation, Anthony Smith is known as a husband, father, and friend, but now he is known as something else...... Major Anthony Smith is a hero.

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