BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An American veteran and treasure for Bossier Parish is celebrated for an accomplishment few are able to live to see.
“Happy birthday to you,” family, friends, and care staff sang together at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home Wednesday afternoon to celebrate a milestone achievement of a man from the greatest generation.
“I’m doing good. Real good,” Albert Sidney Smith said.
Smith is a World War II veteran. Serving in the U.S. Navy a part of the Pacific theater of the war, he was stationed on a battleship heading to the invasion of Japan that had to dodge Kamikaze bombers along the way when the atomic bombs were dropped that caused Japan’s surrender.
The war ended and he returned home to Bossier Parish where he married, had three children, and worked as a fireman at Barksdale Air Force Base. He lived a quiet peaceful life full of activities. Now joining the ranks of Louisiana centenarians as he turned 100 years old on October 18.
“I’m enjoying this party ya’ll are giving me. It’s better than what I got out of the service,” Smith joked.
His longevity and service are recognized by the state. Representative Dodie Horton read a proclamation on behalf of her, Representative Raymond Crews, and the State of Louisiana in Smith’s honor.
“He is most deserving for recognition for his truly amazing life. He’s such a patriot. He served his country well and it didn’t stop there. He came home and continued to serve,” Representative Horton said.
Smith stayed busy with humble hobbies over his many years. He grew up on a farm in Bienville Parish and his son said continued to love and care for animals his entire life. He was a gardener, and a beekeeper known for cultivating honey for his neighbors and relocating bees to his land.
“From the time I was young until now, he was always the perfect role model. He set high standards for himself and us as well,” said Scott Smith, Mr. Smith’s youngest son.
Scott Smith said his father always stayed active. During Mr. Smith’s service, he was a heavyweight champion boxer with only one loss. Later becoming a distance runner running the Louisiana Marathon at the age of 68.
To achieve a long life Smith said, “Just play your part. It doesn’t have to be big or anything. Just regular living.”
His outstanding life and service are now forever recognized in Louisiana history.