A volunteer firefighter in our region was killed tragically after he crashed his truck into a home in Elkview on Saturday. On Wednesday, he was laid to rest.
For the original story, click here: http://www.wowktv.com/story/24673108/two-vehicle-accident-in-kanawha-county-wv-causes-road-closure
Chad Shafer, a fellow firefighter at the Clendenin Volunteer Fire Department and close friend said, "Nathan was like me, not one for big crowds. I think he'd make an exception for this."
Hundreds gathered together for a man who changed the lives of everyone he knew, Nathan Allan Smith. He was an EMT, a veteran who served in Afghanistan, a first responder. These are just a few of the reasons why so many hailed him as a hero.
According to his obituary that was read aloud on Wednesday, "Nathan was an autopsy technician with the Medical Examiners Office, and was a Senior Airmen for the 130th Security Forces Squadron. He served at Bagram, AB, Afghanistan during operation Enduring Freedom."
President of the Kanawha County Commission, Kent Carper was in attendance and spoke at the service that was held inside of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Elkview. Major General James A. Hoyer, The Adjutant General of West Virginia was also there.
I am fortunate enough to be able to call Nathan one of my good friends. The Elk River community, my community, has gone above and beyond to honor and remember him in the days since his passing.
If we needed anything, Nathan was always there for us. He had so many people who loved him. He had his family, his friends, his ambulance authority family, his Air Guard family, and he had his firefighter family.
For more, click here: http://www.wowktv.com/video?clipId=9824518&autostart=true
Nathan was more than just a firefighter to his chief at the department. He was a son. Chief Kevin Clendenin said, "All of the departments and agencies came together and did an outstanding job of laying Lt. Nathan Smith to rest, with honors."
The church was full. There were tears, but everyone was constantly reminded that the tears came from a place of love. Shafer said, "It's just one big family. When one hurts, everyone hurts."
The family of Nathan Smith is asking that donations be made to Poca Valley bank in Clendenin in Nathan's name in lieu of flowers.