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John G. Smith receives Veteran Service Flag pin during ceremony

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 9:43 a.m. CDT
OST photo by AMY HANSEN Jerry Hampton, right, a volunteer for HCI Care Services Veteran-to-Veteran program, pins a Veteran Service Flag pin on John G. Smith.

When it came time to start the ceremony for John G. Smith to receive the Veteran Service Flag pin, one of his questions was, "Why me?"

Someone in the audience responded, "Because you're special."

"No, the special ones never came home," Smith replied.

Smith, 87, of Osceola served in the armed forces in World War II 1944 to 45. He was stationed in the Pacific.

As for troops not returning from the war, Smith had a brother who was killed.

On Nov. 8, HCI Hospice Care Servicces, formerly Hospice of Central Iowa, had a veteran pinning ceremony for Smith in his home in Osceola.

Smith's family members including a brother, twin daughters and son were in attendance to see Smith receive the honor.

Even Smith's dog Lizzy was there, and she kept a watchful eye on everyone in the room as if to protect her owner.

The ceremony for Smith included the Pledge of Allegiance, a reading of the 91st Psalm, which is known as the "Soldier's Psalm" and singing of "God Bless America."

A volunteer with HCI's Veteran-to-Veteran program pinned the flag on Smith.

At the end of the ceremony, Smith mentioned honoring all the veterans in Clarke County.

Again, he humbly said, "I still don't know why me."

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