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In Honor of Richard smith

     Dec 28, 1950 - Aug 20, 2020


List of Donors in honor of Richard Smith

Michele Pacino, Geraldine Dean, Constance Perger,

Suzanne Glossner, Charleen Zinda, Austine Shughart,

Mark Kelly, Catherine Smallwood, Karen Jarvey,

Karen Tucker, Guy Nothem,  Jerry and Ellen Hair, Keith Bert,

MaryBeth Zeigler, Renate Tillman, Cheryl Beauman,

Pamela Bert,

Alan Frum, Kim Getz, Frank Cuoco, Grace Bert,

Karen Shute, Debra Mayberry, Debra Kelly, Miriam Kelly,

Susan Blackwelder

Soldier Songs and Voices would sincerely like to thank the estate of Staff Sergeant Richard Smith for their generous bequeathal in his memory. On August 27th, 2020 he succumbed to complications from the Covid-19 virus. He was a soldier's soldier. One of these men who makes us proud to be Americans. We are tremendously saddened at his leaving, and grateful to have called him one of our own. 

A gentle and compassionate man whose experiences in Vietnam as a combat medic and adviser to the South Vietnamese Army shaped him forever after into a sentient and giving soul who never 

met a stranger, and who was always more than willing to roll up his sleeves and put out his hand to his brothers and sisters in arms. The number of people he touched with his generosity and kindness number too many to count. 

After 9 years of active duty in the U.S. Army, Richard enrolled in The Physician Assistant program and specialized in Orthopedics. He served and advocated for the veterans at the VA Hospital in Baltimore for many years, where the staff and Veterans alike called him Doc. He never failed to take time out for them, even on his busiest days.

He enjoyed music, the freedom of the open road on his motorcycle, hunting, fishing, golf and cooking good food-which he loved to share with family and friends. Never trust a skinny cook was his mantra.

He received a bass guitar from Soldier Songs and Voices in the early days of our organization that his wife Deb, at his direction, will be passing on to another Veteran through our Greenville, S.C. Chapter.


He is survived by: 

his loving wife, Deb 

two sons, Rick and Chad

sister, Connie and John (husband)

nephew, Cody

and two grandsons, Connor and Benjamin


He was much loved and will be missed sorely

by his wife Debs family as well.

Godspeed Sergeant Richard Smith - until we meet again.


Richard grew up on a dairy farm in PA, and always said he never wanted to see another cow’s teet when he left the farm. A sister preceded him in death and younger sister Connie is heartbroken. He was her rock and advisor. Both parents died in their 60s. He was quite mischievous growing up, although never anything destructive or hurtful to anyone. Moved out of the house at 16 and lied about his age to get into the army at 17. He volunteered for any kind of training the Army offered him, including jump school with the 82nd Airborne. He was sent to Vietnam in what he called an all expense paid trip to Southeast Asia from Uncle Sam. He was there for 18 months as a medic and advisor to the South Vietnamese Army. Richard actually enlisted as a conscientious objector, not believing in killing. Then self preservation became paramount and he withdrew that request.


After Vietnam he was stationed in Germany for 2 years. He enjoyed Germany and the people there. They used to laugh at him when he strapped his skies to his motorcycle and rode to the top of the mountain to ski down. After 9 years of active duty, he enrolled into The Physician Assistant program and specialized in Orthopedics. He served and advocated for the veterans at the VA Hospital in Baltimore for many years. The vets and staff alike called him Doc. He always took the time out for them, even on his busiest days.


Richard has always worked hard, and as the Father of 2 sons he often worked 2 jobs to support his family. He would give anyone the shirt off his back if they needed it. His hobbies over the years included hunting and fishing, and building street rods. He enjoyed all types of music and had some pretty awesome dance moves. He even owned an Irish Pub named Kelly OBriens in NorCal with me and his youngest son Chad for a year. He was an avid reader.

Richard loved the freedom of the road on his motorcycle. Together we logged thousands and thousands of miles across this great country, including a cross-country ride in 2007. He was an outstanding cook and often showed his love by cooking and entertaining folks. He always said never trust a skinny cook.

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