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A final good-bye to a dear patriot

From my point of view, an angel has gone to heaven. Congressman Robert F. (Bob) Smith departed this earth being fortunate to catch the express train to heaven.

I worked for Bob starting in 1987 until he retired the first time, and then again after he came back out of retirement to replace then Congressman Wes Cooley.

Bob was a big man in stature, but he was one of the most decent people that I ever worked for. He cared deeply for his staff and the citizens that he represented. Every time I ran into him, he always asked about my family and specifically about my wife and my mom. That impressed me to this day that a man who was a member of Congress could care about me.

I developed a passion for helping veterans when working for Bob. He always supported me when projects like Southern Oregon Stand Down were born. He gave me the time to immerse myself in that project and many more. I will always remember when Southern Oregon Stand down was recognized as one of the best Stand Downs in the country, he arranged to have me and my wife come back to Washington to receive the award, and then got me tickets to the State of the Union and a VIP national park tour with my wife.

In later years Bob and his family started attending my church, and without fail he always made me feel like I was part of his life that meant something to him. I will deeply miss him as he represented human decency which is in too short a supply in today’s world. God Bless you, my friend. Rest in peace.

Terry M. Haines is regional director of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association.