KOSCIUSKO — James Smith was honored as veteran of the month at the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting yesterday, Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Smith was born and raised in Warsaw. He graduated from Warsaw Community High School in 2000.
Smith enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as a senior in high school. He decided to enlist in the military instead of going to college right after school, as he had already decided that he wanted to become a police officer.
He left for basic training in the winter of 2000. Once his training was completed, he was assigned to the 542nd Transportation Unit in Kingsbury, where he fulfilled his one weekend a month and two weeks a year obligation.
In January of 2003, Smith received deployment orders. He was ordered to active duty for 365 days. His unit was called up and he left for Iraq/Kuwait in 2003 for a nine-month deployment.
While there, Smith drove semi trucks with flatbed trailers to transport supplies to infantrymen. His unit also provided perimeter security at an ammunition point in Kuwait. Smith was promoted to the rank of specialist while deployed in Iraq.
Smith returned to his Kingsbury Unit after coming back to the U.S. In 2005 he transferred to the 1/330th Unit, a drill sergeant unit in Fort Wayne, where he became part of the 11B (infantry) and a 42A (human resources specialist).
He stayed in the Army Reserves until August 2012, giving him a total of 12 years of service.
Smith has been married to his wife, Trish, for eight and a half years. They have two children; a son, Zachary, age 13, and a daughter, Isabelle, age 11.
Smith is currently a night shift deputy with the Kosciusko Sheriff’s Department where he has worked since January 2011.
Smith began his law enforcement career with the Syracuse Police Department in December 2005.
Smith is convinced he is a better person because of his military service and says if he could go back in time he would enlist all over again.