A Simsbury, single mother is doing everything she could to provide a better life for her four children all while working to protect our nation's citizens.
“I don't think of myself as a hero,” Lisa Smith said. “I'm just someone trying to figure out how to make ends meet and how to support my kids.
Smith wanted to join the United States Navy years ago, but single parents were not allowed to enlist at the time. The only way around that would mean relinquishing your rights as a parent.
“There was no way I was giving up custody of my kids for anybody. So that nixed that idea,” Smith said.
Years later, Smith learned about the family care plan that allows single parents to join the ranks. She joined the Navy Reserve in 2002.
“I loved it ever since,” Smith said. “I haven't looked back.
Juggling a naval career and raising four children is no easy feat.
“It's devastating to leave your kids, but you have to think about the bigger picture,” Smith said. “Because one, I'm serving my country and that gives me a tremendous amount of pride that I can't even put into words.”
The Navy afforded Smith new opportunities such as world travel and the ability to go to nursing school. Smith even served in the active duty Marine Corps.
Smith said balancing everything is only made possible by the loving support of her family and friends.
“I remember going running with the marines in the morning and the kids would be hanging out the window, 'go mom' as we jogged by,” Smith said.
Smith's children said their mom is their inspiration.
“She's definitely my hero. She does it all,” Her daughter Jackie Venters said.
Smith's second oldest daughter Morgan followed her mother's footsteps and is now serving in the Marine Corps.
“If you can do something in the world you might as well do it to help other people out,” her son Trey Smith said.
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