House of Heroes, Phenix City Church helps late Army Veteran’s widow

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 2:26 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It was the perfect Saturday for some yardwork!

The Samoan Congregational Church youth group and House of Heroes (HOH) Chattahoochee Valley Chapter had to pleasure to honor late Army veteran, Sergeant First Class Edwinnon Smith and his widow, Behester Smith...beautifying the front yard of her home in Columbus.

SFC Smith was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia and served as a medic. Smith passed away April 4, 1997 from a heart attack. It was the day of his retirement.

For more than 20 years, Behester Smith stood by her husband SFC Edwinnon Smith’s side as he served in the military.

Their service was recognized by the Samoan Congregational Church as they worked magic on her front yard, something that Mrs. Smith has waited for.

“It’s been a long time coming, but I feel great,” says Smith.

Smith says she has not been able to maintain her yard the way she wants to, so these volunteers are helping tremendously.

“By helping me they are honoring him, because what he can’t do they’re doing for him,” says Smith.

Pastor of Samoan Congregational Loama Sialega says as a veteran himself, he understands the needs of a veteran and their spouse.

“As we get older the body takes a toll, all the pain and the trouble, and it prevents us from doing things that we want to do,” says Sialega.

All hands were on deck for some yardwork including trimming bushes and pulling weeds. Sialega says it was very helpful to have the church’s youth group on board.

“We have youth that’s full of energy, and what a better way to utilize them to help someone that is in need,” says Sialega.

The Smith’s home is the second House of Heroes project of the new year. In 2022, 58 military and public safety veterans and/or their spouses were honored through home improvements. Executive Director of the organization, Susan Wood, says House of Heroes has no limit on how many to serve this year.

“We’re on a great start to this year. I hate to put a number on how many we want to help because it’s all about helping as many as possible,” says Wood.

HOH Chattahoochee Valley Chapter set a goal last year to raise $400,00 and they were able to exceed that goal.

If you are interested in taking on a home improvement project or want to learn more about House of Heroes, click here.