Military reflections: A veteran’s anti-war stance

Heath Smith, right, with his family, from left, Angela, Brooklyn and Stone.

Heath Smith enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1999. He attended boot camp in Parris Island, S.C., School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, N.C. and then was later stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was deployed twice to the Middle East. On the second round, in March 2003, he led a Marine Corps infantry team into combat, fighting in the battle of Umm Qasr (the first battle of the Iraq War) and the battle of Nasiriyah.

What drew you to enlist?

My grandfather was a Marine in World War II. And I’m from a tiny, nothing town in Tennessee and couldn’t wait to get out.

How has your military service influenced who you are today?

I have maintained much of the structure learned during my time in the Corps. My experiences in Iraq and working in veteran services has made me staunchly anti-war, as I have seen the negative consequences and destruction armed conflict leaves in its wake.

When it comes to discussing service with a veteran, what advice would you offer citizens who have not served?

To remain sympathetic to those who have served this county no matter the political climate of the times they served or the conflicts in which they were involved. There are many selfless people who have served and continue to serve.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “Military reflections: A veteran’s anti-war stance

  1. Bright

    Good for you, Heath! There are many of us who live in America and support your knowledgeable stance…spread the word. As Eisenhower said “War is the way of moving wealth from the poor to the rich.”

  2. Bright

    Good for you, Heath. Seems your story was nicely published, but the anti-war comments were/are not. You have a lot of support for your stance…not so much in Aville…but from the majority throughout the rest of the world. Best to you and your family.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.