US Army Veteran Melvin Smith enlisted after high school and served four years from 1975 to 1979. Melvin was stationed at bases in Kentucky, Georgia, and Texas. After his time with the Army came to an end, Melvin and his wife moved back to Virginia and he graduated from Virginia Western Community College. After completing his studies, he began working in a few different industries but has found a home at New Freedom Farm due to the friendship and connections he has made.
After Melvin graduated high school he began working in a factory in Bassett, VA. After working in the factory and desiring more, he asked his parents to drive him down to Roanoke, VA to speak with an army recruiter. Shortly after that, Melvin enlisted in 1975. He served for four years until 1979 and was stationed in Ft. Knox, KY, Ft. Benning, GA, and Ft. Bliss, TX as a part of the Mechanized Infantry, 3rd Army Calvary unit.
Melvin got married before leaving the Army. When his time with the Army ended, he and his wife moved back to Virginia where Melvin began his studies at Virginia Western Community College. After graduating he started working for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He also worked in the restaurant and landscaping industries.
Currently, Melvin works at New Freedom Farm as general farm help and a veteran mentor. Located in Buchanan, VA, this nonprofit organization aids veterans and first responders with PTSD, substance use, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other conditions using equine therapy and peer-to-peer support.
Melvin along with three other members of New Freedom Farm were honored as Hometown Heroes and their stories will be released in the following months! You can read more about the presentation here.
Branch Partner Jonathan Sweat from The Legacy Team Roanoke, VA branch was honored to present Melvin with his Hometown Hero award.
*Pictured left to right: Fred Owens, Andrew Kintgen, Clint Cash, and Melvin Smith.
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