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Rep. Smith hosts area veterans for Capitol ceremony


Missouri State Rep. Travis Smith, Dora, recently welcomed four veterans and their families to Jefferson City for a ceremony honoring those who served in the U.S. military for their service. Smith, who described the experience as “an honor,” hosted Jim Kyle of Ozark County, Ron Simmons of Taney County, Scott Huffman of Douglas County and Crockett Oaks III of Howell County for a “heartfelt ceremony” held March 28 at the Capitol.

“Today, state officials, community leaders and citizens from across the state came together to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces,” said Smith. “This special event, held in the prestigious halls of our state's capitol, underscores our unwavering gratitude and respect for those who have sacrificed so much for our nation. The ceremony was marked by a series of moving speeches, patriotic music and the presentation of honors to veterans who represent the courage and dedication of all our military personnel. These veterans, coming from diverse backgrounds but united in their service, embody the highest ideals of commitment and sacrifice.”

Representatives from across the state emphasized the importance of recognizing not just the veterans themselves, but also the families who have supported them.

"It is our duty and honor to pay homage to the sacrifices made by our veterans," said Smith, who represents the 155th District which includes Douglas, Ozark, Stone and Taney counties. "Their unwavering commitment to our country and its principles has preserved our freedoms and way of life. Today, we stand united in gratitude and respect for their service."

In acknowledging the significant contribution of rural communities to to U.S. military forces, the ceremony also shone a light on the patriotic spirit of Missouri's rural conservative voters, noted Smith, a Republican: “These communities, often the heartland of our state, have a storied tradition of service and patriotism. Their commitment to country and community embodies the very essence of American valor and spirit.”

Describing the event as a reminder of the ties that bind Missourians and Americans alike, Smith pointed out how it highlights the responsibility of a community to show support for service members.

“It reinforces our collective responsibility to support our veterans and military families, recognizing their sacrifice and ensuring they receive the respect, honor and care they deserve. As we move forward, let us carry with us the legacy of our veterans' bravery, dedication and sacrifice. Let it inspire us to work together for a better, stronger and more united Missouri,” said Smith. “To our veterans, we say: Thank you for your service, your sacrifice and your unwavering commitment to our nation. You are the true heroes among us."