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Alan Smith: Looking Back

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Alan Smith Looking Back

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As you celebrate a milestone seventy five years wise we celebrate you every experience and insight every lesson and triumph For these make the man our own words couldn t ever justly describe We re grateful for a dad like you Love you lots Your kids 2021 2

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Francine with George Alan 1945 George Alan Smith who went by Alan was born June 25 1945 to parents George and Eula Francine who went by Francine nee Smith no relation Smith Alan spent his first four years in Philadelphia before the family moved to Francine s family farm outside of Hugoton Kansas Hugoton is in the southeast corner of the state about 30 miles from Colorado Popular topics of conversation centered on how much it rained or didn t rain that week Alan and his family lived in the small farmhouse owned by Francine s parents who had moved into town In those days you had done good as a farmer if you could afford a house in town The farmhouse was made from three claim shacks from the late 1800s Pioneers put them on land that they were claiming and then abandoned them My great grandfather found three and moved them to his property Alan has happy and carefree memories from his childhood in Kansas mostly playing with his brother Bruce b 1947 and best friend Jan Kilborne It was the early 50s so we had fun outdoors We d go out in the pasture and catch lizards or whatever else we could catch We mowed down a grassy field to make a diamond and played baseball until it got dark It was a no fuss no muss place to grow up 3

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They were little equestrians We had several horses on the farm and we d get on and use their manes to steer them Sometimes that worked and sometimes the horses didn t want you on them One shake and a jump and away we went I m surprised we didn t end up with broken bones Bruce was 18 months younger than Alan and described as the smart kid I was somewhat jealous of him because he could read something and he knew it I would have to read something 15 times and even then I only might remember it I was enamored with his ability but disliked him being so much smarter than me When they were small Bruce was a great playmate and friend most of the time We did a lot of stuff together mainly because there weren t many others around I tease him about the time we were playing with a cork gun and Bruce decided it would be more fun to put a pencil in there and see what happened He shot the pencil right into my neck My dad pulled it out and took the cork gun and broke it in half right over his knee Alan s father George was described as firm and headstrong He was pretty much always right He was an incredibly smart guy and taught me about hard work and doing things the right way not taking shortcuts If you made something and it wasn t quite level he d tell you to make it again 4 Alan on the farm 1948 Alan and Bruce 1949

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Alan and Bruce with Dad and Mom 1947 George grew up in Philadelphia and was educated through high school when he left for the Army He served in WWII learning all about radar equipment and became an electronics expert by training if not by degree George was incredibly handy and built a makeshift air conditioner for their farmhouse before formal units were available on the market It was a swamp cooler air conditioner a big vented box with a motor a fan and water from the farm s well as the coolant The fan blew that humid cooler air into the house He put that in the house all by himself Nobody had AC back then He did the plumbing and the electrical If something needed to be done around the house he could do it When TVs were introduced there was no service close by so George ran an antenna up to the top of a huge grain silo 100 feet in the air The best reception we ever got was fuzzy snow He tried In addition to tinkering George Smith also loved to play golf If it was above 50 degrees and sunny he was golfing While George was reserved and stern Francine was the soft and loving type who taught the boys about respect for others and her Methodist faith My parents had totally different personalities My mom was loving and open and was also very smart She went to secretarial school for two years and then WWII started so she left Kansas to go to DC and work for the government She was a master at short hand A lot of young women did this to help with the war efforts It was the patriotic thing to do 5

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Alan s great grandparents Hiram Newton and Maria Webber Smith Francine with Alan and Bruce 1949 It was in DC where Francine met George and the rest was history She stayed home with the kids when they were little and then returned to work once they got to Hugoton and the children were school aged She worked first as a receptionist for a doctor s office and then became the first female county clerk for Stevens County She was bright and confident perhaps aided by height She was 5 10 She was a towering presence Francine was well rounded and wanted her boys to be the same enrolling them both in dancing lessons at age 7 8 We did it but we didn t understand why Neither my brother nor I have a dancing gene in our bodies Francine did the cooking which was fairly basic mostly because his father wouldn t eat much else We had some kind of protein with sides of vegetables or fruit Sometimes she d deep fry a chicken but there were no fancy or exotic meals served at our house My dad only liked about five or six things chicken hamburger sometimes steak We didn t have steak too much because he thought it was too expensive George was prudent with the family finances My dad grew up during the Depression so he always worried about money He thought that if he didn t get things for a rock bottom price or get it with a coupon he was getting a bad deal He s still that way Even though Dad was frugal Alan adds he never wanted for much 6

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There was always enough food to eat If there were money issues my brother and I were never made aware of it During their time in Hugoton Alan grew close to his mom s family especially her brother Hugh Darrell Uncle Darrell HD who took over the family farm He was a fun guy totally different from my Dad He d grab our ears and jokingly threaten to pick us up by then We got a kick out of that But he was more than just a silly Uncle HD taught Alan a lot about generosity He had a big influence on my life Sometimes he pretended to be gruff but you knew he wasn t He would help farmers that were down on their luck He had machinery sitting out in front of the farmhouse and would loan it to people that he barely knew Alan s maternal grandparents Russell Newton and Frances May nee Weber Smith were also a big part of his life All the holidays and family celebrations were typically at their house in town After school I would walk to their house until Mom or Dad picked us up My grandmother was always present but she was in the background She was often doing her own thing I was closer to my granddad Besides his success in farming Russell Smith also served as a County Commissioner and loved his hometown Alan s maternal grandparents Russell and May Smith with his mom Francine and HD 1942 7

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He was a town icon He was born in and lived in Hugoton his entire life and was passionate about the people there and preserving the town s history Hugoton had an old courthouse in the center of town with a big bell that rang at eight noon and four When a new courthouse was being built they were going to bulldoze the whole thing but my granddad bought the bell and set it up in the park with a plaque explaining it s significance He wanted young people to know that stuff Years later Russell also taught Alan a thing or two about honesty My friends and I decided to jump the fence at the State Fair and I told my granddad about it and he was not pleased He let me know that I was being dishonest and should pay to go into a place that charges admission That stuck with me forever Russell s family originally came from England but his father Alan s great grandfather first settled in Springfield Illinois He supposedly shared a tent with Abraham Lincoln during the Black Hawk War of 1832 It s amazing to think about not only the company he kept but also how these ancestors ended up in Kansas They didn t have an interstate with a McDonalds at every exit They lived off the land and walked from Illinois to Southwest Kansas Somehow information got to them that Kansas was a good place to settle and make a living so they went never having seen it It blows my mind While living in Hugoton Alan was lucky to have all these family influences close by but better work opportunities for his father were calling George had bounced around in jobs delivering freight for the railroad then working as a soft water installer and finally as a maintenance janitor for a natural gas pumping station 8 Russell Smith on the farm 1950 With wife May celebrating their 50th anniversary 1975

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Alan s paternal grandparents Osborne and Elizabeth Smith early 1950s He had to keep the place clean which was not really his ideal job So on a trip to see his parents in Philadelphia he interviewed for an electronics engineer position and got the job A few months later we moved to Montauk New York My mom didn t seem to mind leaving her family but I was not aware of what conversations were being had behind closed doors Alan spent his sixth and seventh grade years in Montauk New York Even though their time there was short lived he remembers it as happy and spent a lot of time by the ocean I remember it was always windy The house was a mile and a half from the Atlantic two miles from Long Island Sound so in warm weather there was always someplace to go swim and play It was an easy going and idyllic place to live From Montauk Alan remembers fun trips to see his Aunt Betty in Washington DC and his Uncle Bill and paternal grandparents Osborne Ent and Elizabeth nee Hamaker Smith in Philadelphia His grandfather Osborne was a yardmaster for the Pennsylvania Railroad Besides Bill George also had a brother whom Alan never met Osborne Ent Jr died in a plane crash during WWII Alan s Uncle Bill was remembered fondly He was a fun guy who loved to play pranks and keep people laughing He also served in WWII flying B24s from England to Germany 9

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What was left of the farm in Hugoton 1980s Alan s 1955 Ford V8 In 1957 the family moved back to Kansas this time to Hutchinson about 50 miles outside of Wichita Alan enjoyed the freedom of biking around with friends such as David Riggins and Jim Miller We d wander all over town and come home when the streetlights came on We did get pulled over by the police one time for blowing through a stop sign on our bicycles He read us the riot act but let us go It was a prelude to my need for speed At 14 Alan was able to get a restricted license to drive to and from school so his interests went from bikes to motor scooters to motorcycles to fast cars My dad of all people found my first motor scooter He took the money out of my savings account bought it and brought it home one day That was not typical of my dad it surprised the heck out of me He has been good to me It didn t always feel like it but I recognize it now Alan s savings came from humble summer and after school jobs such as making 85 cents an hour at Sandy s Restaurant I worked to support my driving habits That was all I worked for Gas was only 19 cents a gallon and you were lucky if your car got 12 miles a gallon When Alan was 16 his dad made him a deal He and I went in on a 1954 Chrysler an ugly car not a chick magnet I paid for half the car and every other fill up I think he got the better end of the deal on that one since he drove it more His father later found a 1955 Ford V8 at an auction and bought it for 200 Alan spent much of his free time trying to make it go faster It didn t work I didn t know as much in those days 10 A memorable summer vacation during his time in Hutchinson was a road trip through the Black Hills to Mount Rushmore with his brother mother and grandmother

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My dad was either working or golfing so my mom did many of the vacations with us During these later high school years Alan stayed busy with schoolwork and after school jobs He preferred math to his other classes and understood how motors worked better than he understood girls Girls were not my strong suit They were these mysterious things that I didn t understand Alan volunteered as an assistant on the high school football team I didn t want to play because I didn t want to get hurt I saw what happened to those guys Why would I want to do that to myself In December 1962 the family moved to Huber Heights a suburb of Dayton Ohio Shortly after Alan came down with mononucleosis mono and was out several weeks It was a hard return to a new school in a new town where he didn t know anyone I remember thinking my parents were the meanest people moving me in the middle of my senior year but it worked out well in the end I got to make some friends in the area before everyone graduated Alan met one his best friends Budd Edwards in Huber Heights Even though they were only schoolmates for a short time Budd has remained a close friend to this day Alan graduated from Wayne High School that spring of 1963 and went right to work first at the local Woolworth s then working the night shift at Dayton Etched Products Corporation a printing plant We printed on metal and the machinery was old from the early 1900s and required a lot of manual assistance to run You had to make sure your hands didn t get caught in the gears because there were absolutely no safeguards in place OSHA wasn t around in those days There were big 2 000 pound rolls of steel that had to be moved around It was a hazardous place to work but I survived it Alan in a 1962 Corvette At work at the printing shop 1964 11

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By this time Alan was engaged to be married but as Vietnam heated up he decided to enlist in the Navy to avoid being drafted She said I m done and threw the ring back at me She didn t want to wait around for anybody for four years That was a learning experience but in hindsight was a blessing The Navy was a six year commitment that would shape the rest of his life He had dreams of working on a nuclear submarine which the recruiting chief encouraged When I asked him if I could work on submarine electronics with glasses he didn t answer me directly and now I know why Instead he said See my glasses See the dolphin pin on my chest The pin was a symbol for submarine duty There s your answer Well he lied to me but I didn t find that out until I got through boot camp In October of 1965 Alan was off to boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center outside of Chicago where he learned basic military and naval skills His training was cut short due to demand You could become just about anything in the Navy They told us we were ready so off we went At first they offered me a nuclear electronics job on an aircraft carrier but I would ve had to serve for six years and I didn t want to work on board one of those huge ships Instead he worked as a radioman on the USS Basilone DD 824 a destroyer that measured 390 feet long Alan was one of 290 personnel onboard As a radioman he worked on radio and cryptograph equipment that ran all external communication with other ships and shore stations He remained at sea until September 1966 First Navy home USS Basilone DD824 12

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Leaving Newport Rhode Island for Vietnam 1966 Hong Kong 1966 I did more in that first year than most people do in 20 We went around the world spending five months in Vietnam and making countless stops at different ports of call straight out of boot camp I was just along for the ride young and dumb and did what I was told to do His tasks ranged from mundane to mysterious Most communication came in over classified circuits and on each end of the communication path the machines took the messages and encrypted them We saw almost everything that came in Every once in awhile a message would say For the Captain s Eye Only so we backed away and let the head radioman take care of it Upon his return Alan was assigned to the classroom first at Great Lakes then off to Bainbridge Maryland for four months of school Radiomen are supposed to go through training before going to the fleet but they were all backed up so after a full year at sea I went back to school to learn all the things I should ve known going in Instructors said Forget everything you were told They wanted us to learn the proper procedures for everything We had already violated most of it but it was OK It was winter and Alan remembers marching a half mile to classes every day rain or snow and working as a security guard around campus It was here in Maryland where he met a young woman Diane Pirotte and started dating seriously Alan finished school in March 1967 and left for Londonderry Northern Ireland where he worked as a radioman at a naval communications station for the next 18 months I provided support to the ships out at sea sending and receiving messages It was great because I wasn t on a ship I met a number of locals on and off the base It was interesting just noting the differences in culture You d see Irish civilians working digging ditches in wool jackets and ties I was just starting to realize other cultures do things differently from my cultural experience 13

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Londonderry Northern Ireland 1967 View from Alan s front door in Argentia Newfoundland 1968 Alan sampled the pub culture at night and was surprised to find most closed early There was one pub that stayed open until 2am the owner must have had some connection to get the exemption That s where all the Navy guys would hang out In March of 1968 Alan and Diane got married in Northern Ireland They left for his next assignment in Argentia Newfoundland later that year I thought it was going to be a bad station but I loved it By that time I had advanced to supervise a crew for NAVFAC It s since been declassified but was one of the highly classified stations tracking Soviet submarines The area had some of the best tuna fish in the world so people would fly in just to fish Most of the land was wilderness and they had maps for fishing routes but this was before cell phones so if you got lost you could be lost for days Around this time Alan discovered he was going to be a father and decided to separate from the Navy in October of 1969 I had mixed emotions about it I liked what I was doing but it was not a great place to raise a family I would be gone for long stretches at a time Alan and Diane first lived with her parents in Baltimore Maryland when their first daughter Jill was born in 1970 Alan stayed home with her when she was an infant and then took her to daycare so he could attend Essex Community College and then Towson State University on the GI Bill He started on an engineering track but shifted to business administration graduating in 1972 He worked nights at the A P Grocery Store plus rejoined the Navy Reserves in 1971 Life was busy They moved into their own place in Middle River Maryland and Alan experienced the emotional rollercoaster of parenthood 14

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Back in those days you put the kid carrier on the bike behind you They weren t very sturdy and Jill s legs were not well protected We were riding around the complex and she managed to stick her leg between the spokes of the wheel and broke it She didn t stop screaming until we got to the hospital and got her leg in a cast I m still traumatized by the fact that I did that to my two year old It was not the best day of my life The family took road trips traveling back to Huber Heights Ohio to visit Alan s parents and occasionally back to Kansas to see his maternal grandparents Everywhere we went we had to drive in those days We couldn t afford flying anywhere Alan s reserve commitment required him to visit Fort McHenry one weekend a month and for two weeks a summer to run drills and keep his skills fresh We would catch up on our proficiency manuals and practice marching Not all of it was necessary but it gave us something to do We also spent time on small navy boats out on the Chesapeake Bay In 1973 Alan got a job with the Civil Services Commission in Washington DC working in the Office of Personnel Management In 1976 he started work with the U S Department of Agriculture as a labor relations specialist During his time there the Administrator of the Agency took note of Alan My Navy background definitely helped plus I ve been blessed with being in the right place at the right time and having the right contacts I was asked to join their Biosecurity Team We had to watch for foreign threats to our animals or plants and develop plans for how we would respond Alan with Jill 1970 Alan with his mom and Jill 1975 15

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In 1977 Alan was commissioned as a Navy officer in the Naval Reserve After college I submitted a request to become a officer but I was shot down The second time I added some letters of recommendation and that worked I was an Ensign the lowest level of officer but it was a lot better pay grade than the E6 level as a first class radioman In 1982 son Christopher was born Work and family life kept him busy but by the late 1980s his marriage was over Diane and Chris relocated and Jill remained with Alan Alan visited Chris regularly making many trips to Friendly s for ice cream and attending Chris s soccer and field hockey games and school concerts Luckily for Alan he would find love again in an unlikely place a work conference in 1989 I first noticed Cindy Cynthia Feronti when I was in line to check into the hotel and then we kept running into each other so much so that to this day we joke about how hard God was working to make sure we met The first morning of the conference when the breakfast hostess started to seat Cindy at a table I invited her to sit with me I think she wanted to sit with anyone else but me She told me first thing how she had four babies at home in an obvious ploy to get rid of me but it didn t work Alan knew Cindy was someone special Shortly following the conference the two started dating and have been together ever since My Uncle Darryl heard I was dating someone with four kids and asked me What are you thinking I said Well I m thinking I love this woman 16 Alan and Chris 1982

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Cindy and Alan on their wedding day 1993 the Smith Callahan Extended Family 2005 Alan ignored his uncle and in 1991 they bought a house together in Woodstock Maryland Woodstock is 20 miles west of Baltimore Nobody knew about it when we moved out there but everything is developed now We lived on seven acres at the end of a lane so it was a really great place for kids The house was on a hill that was great for sledding and we had a stream at one edge of the property that the kids tried to fish when they were very little The couple was married in 1993 In addition to Jill and Chris Alan became a proud stepfather to Tommy b 1983 Jenny b 1984 Ashley b 1986 and Corey 1987 2017 As you would expect such a large blended family came with its challenges But we were both committed to making it work We listened to each other and consulted several family therapists to get help from those who knew more than us Also maintaining a sense of humor helped Let me challenge your thinking was a phrase that let the other know in a friendly manner that we were about to work out our differing parenting approaches We have gone through quite a lot together as parents both good times and bad but our relationship is much stronger having gone through those times together Life on Cavey Lane was full The home began with three combined households and often included others Beyond their blended family grandparents in laws extended family live in help and others who needed a roof were regular guests of the home The built in kitchen table with island extension could host big family meals of a dozen or more and on many holidays and birthdays it did While Alan and Cindy both admit they wish they worked less during these years they hold dear many memories from that time There were family photo traditions like the first day of school or Christmas morning on the stairs celebrating kids milestones in Little Italy and elsewhere loading up in the van to maximize Halloween trick ortreating in nearby Waverly and blaring the Beatles birthday song 17

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Alan Tom and Chris skiing 1996 Corey on a dirtbike 2001 As the kids got older they hid the Beatles CD from us but much to their dismay we would always find it Big family meals were a favorite and even more so after the wood fired pizza oven was open for business They played ping pong pool and darts in the basement rode big wheels bicycles dirt bikes and snow sleds outside shoveled the long driveway and made snowmen and snow angels and enjoyed big Christmas mornings Easter egg hunts birthday parties slumber parties and pool parties I got the boys into dirt bikes and motorcycles Chris ran into a tree and scraped the skin off one cheek pretty badly but he recovered I was really worried that would leave a scar but thankfully it didn t The girls were not interested in motorsports so we did less dangerous activities around the house such as playing in the pool The pool provided lots of good family times at home and encouraged get togethers with extended family and friends But it was a lot of work My advice Never get a house with a pool Friends of the kids would come over so there was lots of swimming but the upkeep maintenance and repair was a lot to keep up with After the kids left we probably didn t use the pool more than once or twice a summer 18 There were lots of snowball stand runs go cart days with Alan s car club trips to the zoo and Kings Dominion and summer passes to Wild World water park There were also school vocal concerts Christmas plays band and dance performances marching band concerts at football games music competitions fire cadet and cub scout activities and ice hockey soccer and football games Later came teaching the kids to drive homecomings proms and graduations and worrying about teenagers For several years Alan s part time job was teaching teenagers to drive and keeping their cars in running order

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I developed a new level of patience when the kids transitioned from me taking them to events to teaching them to drive their own cars Then I developed a new level of worry once they were driving I used to tease Cindy with a sign I saw about parenting that she wouldn t let me bring home but it was a phrase that helped us laugh about some of the trials of parenting The sign read Being a parent is like being pecked to death by ducks what I would add is but I love my ducks Because their hands were so full taking care of so many kids Alan and Cindy didn t encourage the kids to add pets to the household In fact Alan often summed up his feelings on this issue to the kids this way and was only half joking You can buy any pet you want as long as when it dies from your neglect it can be flushed down the toilet With so many in the household Alan often found it difficult to finish a sentence without being interrupted On many of these occasions he enjoyed handling this with humor I only speak so that others can practice the art of interruption During these years Alan renovated most of the Cavey Lane home himself he remodeled the kitchen and two bathrooms finished the basement including the addition of a new bedroom replaced the wall to wall white carpeting with laminate and tile flooring replaced the deck twice and helped add a separate garage Cindy kept Alan busy outside as well supporting her gardening interest where he created a raised bed veggie garden established an orchard built two garden sheds constructed fences as well as stoned walkways patios and stairs Cindy s Dad enjoyed helping Alan with many of these projects and even the kids would help sometimes to work off punishment Family and friends at Cavey Lane celebrating Cindy s 40th birthday 1999 19

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There was no shortage of honey do items on my list From my viewpoint we moved into a nice home that could use some updating Cindy on the other hand saw the home as having endless possibilities The more work I did the more she realized what I could do She even insisted I install an 8 foot door in a 6 foot hole And even though I initially told her that couldn t work I got it done Alan and Cindy had complimentary if differing approaches to parenting Typically Cindy would encourage the kids independence and their own decision making and I would be the boundary setter I was more authoritarian I think because of my Dad He was the same way But there were times when we would switch roles especially on some of the more serious issues It was during some of these most challenging periods with the kids that my relationship with them deepened In addition to raising their family both Cindy and Alan were working full time in MD or Washington DC with up to a long 90 minute commute from Woodstock For some periods even though they worked at the same place they would commute separately one going in early and the other later to reduce the time the kids were at home without them But they also had wonderful help including Cindy s niece Shelly who brought her family to live with Cindy and Alan Shelly gave them much piece of mind that their children were well cared for and the kids really enjoyed Shelly s babies Bryanna and Courtney In the late 90s Alice Smith a refugee from Liberia came to live with the family She was a terrific housekeeper and great with the children She had a daughter in inner city Baltimore but we didn t learn until later that her husband and many other children were in a refugee camp in Ghana 20 Christmas morning photo on the stairs tradition 1998

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Halloween with five of the six kids 1993 Christmas at Cavey Lane 2008 They had been a middle class family in Liberia when Alice came to the US to earn money to eventually bring all of her family here However when war broke out in Liberia they lost everything and became refugees We learned that Alice sent most of her salary back to her family there and that very rarely did the money make it to them Hearing this left Alan and Cindy speechless They had to help We asked her What can we do She asked Can you help sponsor my family to come over She then explained that the United Nations was ending a program to relocate refugees from their camp to the US so this was the final chance for an American family to sponsor their evacuation So we did Catholic Charities handled the paperwork and three months later 17 members of Alice s family flew to Baltimore We didn t know how many how old how many boys how many girls until they got off the plane The oldest was 20 and the youngest was 5 Several had scars and horrific stories from being beaten in the streets at the start of the war one was even almost executed and they suffered more violence in the refugee camp Alice s daughter took a few in and Alan and Cindy opened their house to the rest We had beds or blankets set up for them all over the house and went off to bed The next morning we got up and found all the sheets and blankets pulled into Alice s room and the entire family crowded into a 10x10 room We were only ever able to convince them to spread out into two rooms during their stay We helped them gather what they needed to set up a household in the US took them for medical and dental care helped them get access to social and financial services and they among other things joined in our family celebrations and performed music for us About three months after their arrival Catholic Charities set them up with an apartment 21

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Vacation to Virginia Beach 1993 Tommy at the Grand Canyon 2004 They jokingly called us their American parents and we kept in touch with them for years The oldest boy Simeon joined the U S military and was commissioned as an Army officer The whole experience grounded Alan in gratitude I remember thinking did I really sign up for this But we had to do something and I m so glad we did It reminded me how great we ve got it here Other favorite family memories centered on vacations which were well deserved When Alan and Cindy first met they had to take two cars to go somewhere with all the kids so they eventually bought a conversion van big enough to fit everyone and made good use of it One memorable road trip was out to the Grand Canyon through Colorado s Rocky Mountain National Park Another was to Arizona and the Grand Canyon Tommy was always a daredevil and that was the case during a visit with to the Grand Canyon He would go out on the precipice and dangle a foot over the edge just to scare the heck out of us He did a good job at that I told Cindy I can t stand it and I m not going to watch So I left and went to the gift shop Another memorable family vacation was the cruise where they thought they lost Corey We had separate rooms and said goodnight and closed the door A couple hours later one of the kids came over and said Corey s gone We went on a ship wide search and found him hanging with some older kids in the disco That was a rough part of an otherwise nice trip 22 Over the years there were family vacations to nearby and Caribbean beaches skiing in Pennsylvania camping in Colorado and visits to relatives They had fun at amusement parks from Six Flags to Sea World to Disney World and saw natural wonders such as Rocky Mountain National Park and Red Rocks Family cruises included ziplining in Belize and swimming with whale sharks off Mexico

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During Alan s time with the reserves he was recalled to active duty several times In 2000 he went to Bosnia for four months to support NATO peacekeeping efforts One of our jobs was to track down people who had committed atrocities during the Bosnian War find out where they were and help military forces to capture them It was an interesting time over there We were deep in the mountains in an area called Tuzla about 60 miles outside of Sarajevo In 2002 Alan spent six months working for the FBI following the 9 11 attacks He also had two separate assignments with the National Security Agency In the second he served as the Reserved Forces Director advising and coordinating for the Director of NSA how to leverage the reserved forces of all military branches to support NSA s mission Though the work was at times stressful Alan found his life fulfilling I enjoyed it all the Navy culture and the friends I met both there and with the Department of Agriculture He retired from the U S Department of Agriculture in 2004 and the Navy the next year After 40 years of Active Duty and Reserve service I felt I had experienced enough and accomplished enough I was ready to retire Cindy and I agreed my time would be better spent at home with kids Of course when Alan announced to the kids at dinner that he would soon be home every day Corey instinctively said That sucks reminding Alan that his next watch may be his toughest duty One of the Navy slogans is Join the Navy see the world Alan did exactly that Before he retired Captain Smith had travelled to Panama Viet Nam Hong Kong the Philippines Taiwan India Malaysia Greece the Suez Canal Gibraltar Germany Bosnia Herzegovina Newfoundland England Ireland and Northern Ireland Tom and Alan at Tom s Air Force Boot Camp Graduation Commander Smith Bosnia 2001 23

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Alan was a very decorated officer awarded the following medals Legion of Merit Defense Meritorious Service Joint Meritorious Service Navy Marine Corps Commendation Joint Service Achievement Joint Meritorious Unit Navy Unit Commendation Navy Good Conduct Naval Reserve Meritorious Service National Defense Armed Forces Expeditionary Viet Name Service Medal Global War On Terrorism Naval Sea Service Deployment Medal Navy Armed Forces Reserve Medal as well as the NATO and Viet Nam Campaign Ribbons and Navy Pistol Marksman Expert In 2013 with the children grown and beginning to start families of their own that large home that was always filled with many was down to just Cindy and Alan The empty nesters shocked everyone when they sold the house in Maryland and moved to Edenton North Carolina My kids got me a shirt that says I m not lazy I just like doing nothing We love it here We have a good sized home in walking distance to the Albemarle Sound They had some concerns about leaving family and friends to relocate to another state but were invited to join a weekly drink and appetizer group and soon found themselves socializing more than they ever had in Maryland Helping others became a focus of Alan s time in Edenton He worked directly with Disabled American Veterans Moldovan trafficking victims and orphans and local homeless and near homeless He even paid the bondage debt of a Pakistani family that freed them from slavery 24 Captain Alan Smith Navy retirement 2005

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Alan s Navy Retirement aboard the USS Constellation 2005 My thinking has clearly changed over the years When Cindy and I met she felt as strongly about the needs of less fortunate as I did about the value of a strong military Living with me she shares my view of the military and I became more aware of those less fortunate than us I feel good about the difference we have made in the lives of others Outside of spending time with Cindy Alan spends time tooling around with his cars and riding his motorcycles and has met likeminded guys who all enjoy going out for group rides Alan and Cindy make regular trips to Virginia and Maryland to see their kids and now future generations They have six grandkids and Alan even has one great grandchild at this point Jill lives in Smithsburg Maryland While she now works as a nurse for most of her adult life her primary focus has been her family She supported their family business but her first priority was raising their three girls Brittany b 1990 Kaitlyn b 1993 and Lauren b 1998 As the girls got older Jill undertook a nursing degree and launched her successful nursing career In 2018 Brittany married Kevin Sweeny and Jill became a grandmother to their son Connor Alan in 2018 25

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Patty and Chris 2020 Tom and Deglend 2020 While Jill has always been an outstanding mother I have been especially happy to watch Jill over the last few years where she has finally given herself the room and time to focus on what kind of life she wants and who she is She has really come into her own and that makes me very happy I have also enjoyed watching those little baby girls grow into very special young women each so different but I love them each very much Christopher lives in Granite Maryland where he bought two houses living in one and renting the other He has also substantially redone his home and the property as he did with his first townhome Chris works in custom and industrial lighting and recently married Patty McIntyre who works in the same field as Chris It gives me great pleasure to see how good he has become at home and landscape renovation I especially like that that apple hasn t fallen far from the tree I m also really pleased that our son who had a plan to remain a bachelor found Patty who has brought so much happiness into his life Tom lives in Lorton Virginia He served in the Air Force as an F 16 Crew Chief at Luke Air Force Base Upon separation from the USAF he worked morning until night for some time as one of the initial employees of an IT startup before his career path landed him in cybersecurity But much more significantly he is a single dad to son Deglend b 2017 26 Tom calls us often to keep us up to date on his adventures with Deglend and I always look at Cindy after the call and ask Who is this guy He s so grown up and so fully devoted to being a father We just couldn t be prouder of him

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Jenny is married to her childhood sweetheart Shawn Linthicum and they live in Catonsville Maryland with their two children Jenny attended the University of Maryland and graduated from Town State University with Bachelor and Master degrees with a focus in molecular biology She married Shawn in 2012 and they have two children Grace b 2017 and Lee b 2018 Jenny s career is in biotechnology making and selling pharmaceutical testing products and has progressed to management Shawn opened his own liquor store and has been tremendously successful Corey once referred to Jenny as the glue that held our family together so it is no surprise what a truly fabulous mother she is And we just couldn t be happier with the man father and provider we have watched her young boyfriend Shawn grow into Ashley currently lives close to Jenny in Catonsville Maryland She graduated from Towson State University with a degree in family studies but her first work in that field changed her mind Later she transitioned from upscale restaurant industry work to the personnel and staffing industry While this has allowed Ashley to work from home during the global pandemic her social nature and skills while contributing to her success has her eager for the pandemic to end so she can return to work in an office with her team Ashley has always had a personality that creates a special place for her in the heart of many but she has also had to work very hard to overcome life s challenges Growing up Corey was her best friend so his loss hit her especially hard This is why I am so happy and proud to see how she has overcome and is finding the happiness she truly deserves Jenny Lee and Grace 2020 Cindy Alan and Ashley 2020 27

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Cindy s youngest Corey from a very young age was drawn to all kinds of sports He shared Alan s love of all things motored and spent hours riding dirtbikes in the backyard Before long Chris Tom Corey and Alan all rode dirtbikes on the homemade dirtbike track in the backyard of Cavey Lane Later Corey discovered a passion for cooking and worked his way up and across a number of restaurants in Maryland When Alan transported Corey s ailing grandfather back to Melbourne Florida after an extended stay at Cavey Lane Corey joined Alan for the trip and after they arrived in Florida decided to remain there to help care for this grandfather with whom he shared a special bond Corey also continued his culinary career in Florida Sadly the family lost Corey in 2017 at the age of 29 Corey was only 18 months old when Cindy and the kids came into my life so I love him as my own We miss him every day Alan and Cindy treasure their family time together whether traveling to Maryland and Virginia to hang out with their kids and watch the grandkids or hosting them in Edenton Alan is proud to admit he has loosened up a bit with age Alan says his mellowed mood is fully supported and encouraged by Cindy with whom he is celebrating 27 years of marriage Before I met her I used to make the decisions It s slowly shifted she makes most of them now We will be staying together forever we like to say we have one working brain between the two of us so we have to stick together A sense of humor also helps 28 Alan and Corey on Christmas morning 1989 Cindy and Alan with Corey on his prom night 2005

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Family fun at Jenny and Shawn s wedding 2012 When we disagree over something we make it through with humor When one of us sticks our tongue out at the other we know its time to laugh and put it behind us And that has always worked I ve always liked to make jokes It wasn t always appreciated but my delivery is better now I use my brain before I open my mouth now and I have gotten very good at making Cindy laugh Alan is grateful for good health and looks forward to more travel once this COVID 19 pandemic is over I ve been to five of the seven continents and I ve seen Mount Kilimanjaro I d like to see the Himalayas and Everest that might be neat I ve done a lot of stuff in my life that I never thought I d do As Alan looks back on his life he sees the influence many people had along the way My parents and my maternal grandfather taught me about honesty integrity and being kind to people If you say you re going to do something for somebody do it My dad s approach may have been harsh but his ideas on not cutting corners working hard and being on time left an impact Alan also sees where he could ve improved 29

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Alan s retirement trip at Cindy s dad s house in Melbourne Florida 2005 If I could go back I would tell my young self to be kinder to my brother When we were young I teased him without malice but I made his life a little difficult We re great friends now and talk often Bruce takes care of our dad and I see him in a whole different light He s a really good guy I would also let the kids be kids more One day a few years ago I stopped and congratulated another dad for letting his little daughter jump from one puddle to the next If I had the chance I would have done more of that when the kids were little Recounting his career military achievements and his travels Alan will humbly admit he is a bit dumfounded by his success seeing himself as a kid from Kansas who lacked a bit of direction I wasn t all that ambitious and I didn t have big plans But I ended up working for the U S Department of Agriculture and became a Navy Captain working at the National Security Agency I didn t expect any of this but things just came together I was in the right place at the right time and maximized those opportunities I also travelled far beyond what I would have dreamed I would 30 In addition to military and family travel Alan took skiing and Caribbean vacations with his brother and family Alan and Cindy enjoyed Bed and Breakfasts weekends and trips to the Caribbean and other favorites like Rome Paris Morocco and a surprisingly warm Alaska which included a bucket list airplane ride to the Artic Circle Attending drag racing school a couple of European cruises and a celebratory trip to Playa Del Carmen with Ashley rounded out more bucket list travel

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Cindy and I will never go to Alaska again because it was such a great trip with great weather that any return trip would have to be disappointing While Alan likes to refer to his childhood as wholesome and compares his family to the one portrayed in Leave it to Beaver he has had some challenges to overcome the break up of his parents marriage when he was in high school his own self doubt and later the loss of his mother a very important person in his life When I graduated high school I was scared of going to college so I didn t After the Navy I faced that fear of higher education down I didn t think I would do well but I graduated in the top 10 of my class Alan has much to be proud about in his long career but he s most proud of his family I m so proud of the amazing adults and parents our children have become They are amazing in so many ways When Cindy and I met neither of us were looking for a relationship but I m so happy we both got past that idea She s my rock my lover best friend and soul mate She had a very successful career and at the same time was a wonderful mother and wife To future generations Alan Smith has a few pieces of advice It s pretty simple Hard work honesty and integrity make you successful Associate with good people and chase your dreams but recognize crap when it s coming at you and duck Alan with all six kids and three grandkids as of 1993 31

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