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Veteran Profiles

PFC Lewis Smith

Edward John and Ruth (Riffle) Smith had their 11th child born to them at their farm on Four Points and Sixes Bridge Road across from the Richard Valentine farm on August 10, 1937. They named the baby boy Lewis.

Lewis grew up with plenty of brothers and sisters to play games, fish and ride bicycles with and also to help with the work on the farm. The entire family attended Emmitsburg School from first grade through graduation. They also belonged to the Elias Evangelical Lutheran Church in Emmitsburg, where Lewis sang in the choir. The family lived on the farm until 1948 when they moved to Emmitsburg to reside on the Waynesboro Pike. While attending high school Lewis worked for his father, Ed, who got a job as janitor at Emmitsburg High School.

Lewis also delivered Gritt newspapers and was hired to sweep the floor at the pants factory at the west end of town. He swept the floor after all the workers had shut their machines down and gone home for the rest of the day. Lewis graduated from Emmitsburg High in 1956 and was hired at the school to replace his father who retired. Lewis worked there until he was drafted into the US Army in November of 1959.

Private Smith went to boot camp at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina for eight weeks before he was sent to Fort Knox in Kentucky, where he received his orders and was put on a ship for fourteen days to Germany. Upon arrival he was assigned to Vilsick, Germany where he spent 18 months with 663 ordinance ammo dump, the largest ammunition dump in Germany. Here he was trained to handle ammunition safely. Lewis said they received in excess of one hundred tractor trailer loads per day and also received several railroad car loads of ammo per day. Lewis advanced to private first class while serving in Germany. He made a lot of friend while stationed there and understood that their lives depended on helping each other handle the live ammo. PFC Smith was shipped to Ft Dix in New Jersey in 1961 where he was honorably discharged from the US Army.

Between the time of his graduation and drafting, Lewis met a girl by the name of Dorothy Mae Fogle while riding in his 51 Ford at Jimtown (near Thurmont, Md.). Dorothy was sitting on a porch swing on her parentsí porch when Lewis stopped and asked her to double date with him. She said yes. I suppose it was love at first sight because they were married Oct. 11, 1959 and just celebrated their 51st anniversary. Unlike his parents, Lewis and Dorothy had only one child, Jeffery.

When he returned home from New Jersey, Lewis tried to get his job back with the Frederick County School Board, but all positions were filled. He was hired at the new St Joseph's Provincial House where he stayed for a while. Lewis found a better paying job with Weller Bros. Construction Co. where he worked digging the foundation for the brick plant in Rocky Ridge. The School Board of Frederick County rehired Lewis in 1982 where he stayed until his retirement in 2001. Lewis still works part time for the Key Center at the old Emmitsburg High School building.

Lewis is a lifetime member of American Legion Post 121 Emmitsburg, Squad 7 Am Vets Thurmont, Moose Club in Frederick and an active member of the Emmitsburg Grange for a long time. Lewis volunteers his time helping with functions to help the less fortunate in and around our community and helping our veterans at St. Catherine's. He also helps The Sons of The American Legion Post 121 with our chicken bar-b-que fundraiser to help keep Camp Westmar in operation for veteransí kids to go to summer camp.

I am sure by now everyone has guessed I am writing about our own "Smitty!"