JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Dozens of veterans and friends gathered Thursday to celebrate Vermalene Smith’s retirement.
Vermalene was July’s Gr8 Acts of Kindness winner, rewarded for her service to veterans in over 23 different counties.
The Craighead County Veterans office works with veterans in 17 counties in Arkansas, three counties in Tennessee, and three counties in Missouri.
Vermalene Smith has worked with countless veterans and families, offering support and giving whenever she could.
After 12 years in her position, Smith said she’s the one that’s benefited from the work.
“I’ve been the one that has received the blessings from all this,”said Smith. “It’s the opportunity of working with them, getting to know them, and like I say the volunteers in this office, they’ve made this office what it is for the county, the community and Northeast Arkansas.”
When Vermalene started as a Veterans Service Officer, it was just a part-time position.
Now, it’s a full-time position with a volunteer staff of nine people.
Vermalene has been given several awards for her service to veterans in Northeast Arkansas, including a recognition of the Veterans Service Office from Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) in the Congressional Record.
She’s also received a letter of recognition from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, had a flag flown in her honor over the United States Capitol at the request of Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), and awards from the Purple Heart and the Craighead County Veterans Monument Foundation.
“It’s just been unthinkable that doing something that you love so much and enjoy that you would be honored the way I’ve been honored,” said Vermalene.
Vermalene’s last day in her position will be Aug. 30.