You could say Edward Smith has the military in his blood. Born and raised in Freeport, New York, Edward knew early on that he wanted to answer the call to serve his country. It’s easy to see why. His father was a Korean War veteran and had a major influence on him wanting to join the military.
His father had served in the Army, but Edward had a longing for the wind and the waves. So in 1984, he joined the Coast Guard in his hometown. After serving for seven years in the Coast Guard, Edward’s love of the water led him to join the Navy. He served another seven years and received an honorable discharge from the Navy before returning to the Coast Guard as a reservist in 1998.
As an assistant master of arms, Edward assisted in law enforcement by enforcing discipline and non-traditional punishment. During his 30 years of military service, Edward was deployed to Iraq in 2008.
Unable to afford his own home, Edward was living in a one bedroom apartment. With two teenage children, it felt a little crowded for a family of three. After hearing about our Homes on the Homefront program through a veteran’s program, Edward decided to apply for a home.
Thanks to Operation Homefront and our partner Wells Fargo, Edward received a mortgage-free home in Connecticut. “It’s a perfect situation,” Edward said. “This will provide stability and improve my financial situation.”
Edward still spends time on the water as a tug boat captain, but he hopes to retire soon. He also plans on transferring his GI Bill to his children and help put them through college. Until then, he’d like to spend more quality time with them camping and white water rafting.
Thank you, Edward, for how you chose to answer the call and build a life of military service.
Join Operation Homefront as we increase our efforts to help our military families. Find out more at www.operationhomefront.net/answerthecall .