Local veteran commends soldiers of today

Charlotte Guedry
Lloyd Smith of Gonzales is proud of what today's soldiers have accomplished.

On Monday, parish residents couldn’t help but discuss the death of Osama bin Laden.

In a community with many service men and women, residents were surprised when they heard the news. For many, they thought this day would never come.

Lloyd Smith, a retired Corporal Second-Class who served in the Korean War, is no exception.

“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘yes, at last,’” he said. “Eleven years is a long time, and it’s unusual for it to have taken so long. It didn’t take that long to get rid of Hitler, but at least bin Laden is gone now.”

Smith was in the Korean War for 13 months, and returned to Gonzales when his time in the service was finished.

He saw many things during his time in the military, but is amazed by what today’s soldiers face on a daily basis.

“They have so much to worry about,” he said. “Today the soldiers have to worry about weapons that you can’t see.?

They also worry about the terrorist attacks.?It can be a scary world.”

As a former soldier himself, Smith shares what he hopes are the same thoughts that today’s soldiers have concerning the death of Osama bin Laden.

“I think all soldiers, past and present, are feeling happy today,” he said. “We are all thanking God. Being a soldier makes you a certain way, and every full-blooded American serviceman must be very proud and happy today.”

Smith is hopeful that times will now head in the direction of change for America. He is, however, wary that the news of bin Laden’s death may spark a spate of payback from bin Laden’s followers and supporters.

“I am a little worried that we may now have repercussions and retaliations. I think people like aid workers and news correspondents may be the first to be signalled out, as they don’t have the kinds of protection that the military does,” he said. “Things for all Americans could now be worse than ever. We need to be cautious, and more careful than ever.”

Smith feels that we should all be aware of the role of military personnel during not only times of war, but times of peace, as well.

“A soldier has a lot of responsibility. It’s a hard job. Everyone watches them and judges what they do. Today, they should be very proud of what they do. All of them should be very proud.”