Dan Hervey, chairman of the McPherson Area Veterans Committee, announced the committee will have Memorial Day services at 9 a.m. Monday at the New Gottland Lutheran Church Cemetery and at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the McPherson Cemetery. The Youth Pipe and Drum will provide music.
Keynote speaker will be U.S. Navy CDR Clint Smith.
Joe Pfannenstiel, American Legion commander will emcee the programs with invocations by Rev. Dick Reynolds, pastor of the First Presbyterian
Church in McPherson. VFW Post No. 2715 will provide a color guard and the rifle detail.
Other color guards will be provided by American Legion Post No. 24, American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, and Sons of American Legion. Mark Casebeer will play “Taps” at the New Gottland service, and Matthew Bishop will play “Taps” at McPherson Cemetery.
The public is invited to attend.
Keynote speaker Smith was born in Hays and raised in McPherson.
After completion of high school in May 1991, Smith reported in July to the United States Naval Academy for the Class of 1995's Plebe Summer. Upon graduation from USNA in May 1995, Smith reported to NAS Pensacola for Aviation Pre-Flight Indoctrination. Pilot flight training eventually included duty assignments to VT-28, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, VT-23, NAS Meridian, Miss., and VT-22, NAS Kingsville, Texas.
In March 1998, Smith earned his Wings of Gold and selected to fly the S-3B Viking.
Upon graduation from the jet pilot training pipeline, Smith report to VS-41, NAS North Island, the S-3B Fleet Replacement Squadron. After completion of the FRS, Smith reported across the flight line to the VS-35 Blue Wolves for a three year tour that included two sets of pre-deployment work ups and one Arabian Gulf deployment.
Upon completion of this first tour, Smith reported back to VS-41 as an instructor pilot in March 2002.
In March 2003, Smith was selected to transition to the E-6B Mercury as part of the S-3 Sundown transition process. In July 2003 CDR Smith reported to VQ-7, Tinker Air Force Base, to attend the E-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron. Upon completion of VQ-7, Smith began a TACAMO career that would include assignments to VQ-3, VQ-4, and Strategic Communications Wing One.
Upon completion of his VQ-3 department head tour in May 2008, Smith reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., where he served as an action officer responsible for naval operations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Operations and as executive assistant to the deputy director for regional operations. Prior to assuming command of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron THREE on May 11, 2012, Smith served as the squadron’s executive officer. Smith is serving as the E-6B Fleet indoctrination team officer in charge.
Page 2 of 2 - Smith’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals.
Smith is married to the former Melissa Schmidt of McPherson. Together they have three children, Carson, Sawyer and Harper.