Derek Smith grew up listening to his father talk about how important it was to give back to his country and the people around him.
“He always thought it was important to give back to your nation,” he said.
Smith’s father did not talk much about serving in Europe during World War II, but the lessons both his parents imparted about giving back to support something greater than himself stuck with him.
He expected to serve in the U.S. Army for a couple years to give back. He enjoyed the work, which has turned into a 26-year-long career.