ANDERSON — It’s something that no family should have to go through.
Dave and Heather Smith called an Anderson house their home for more than 15 years — but in the blink of an eye, it was gone.
"We are alive and nobody’s hurt and my glass is half full,” Dave Smith said with tears in his eyes. “It was a nice piece of property. Not many like them in Anderson with a pond and a river and woods."
Dave Smith and his family lost their home in a fire Thursday. Now, most of what's left are each other and memories.
All was lost except for one thing: a scrapbook Heather Smith put together to commemorate their son, Matthew Smith.
Dave’s youngest son Matthew was killed in 2003 while serving a tour in Iraq. That’s when the Smiths became a Gold Star Family.
A Gold Star Family is the immediate family member of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict.
“Both of his grandfathers were injured in World War II,” Dave Smith said.
Matthew Smith enlisted in June of 2001 and was called up in 2003. He was 20 years old, and just 20 days from his 21st birthday.
“I tell people all the time that I’m blessed because there was no what if’s he was doing what he supposed to do and what he wanted to do,” Dave said.
Now the Smiths and their 3-year-old daughter are moving forward showing their true strength as a family.
"I just want everything to be as normal as possible for her and she’s got strong parents that can withstand this that shows her she will be abler to withstand this kind of stuff," said Heather Smith.
A GoFundMe has been set up to support the Smiths in their time of need. It can be found here.
"I know I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of help that we’ve had," Dave Smith said.
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