Blair Patterson Smith
AFRH-W resident highlight – Blair Patterson Smith
By P.K. Knor | AFRH-W Resident
Blair Patterson Smith was born in New London, Connecticut when his father was an officer in the Navy. Later, the family moved to Maryland where his father was a real estate attorney. He has an older sister Sandy, who married a judge (now retired), and a younger sister Teri, who retired from the U.S. Army as a JAG officer. The family lived in Prince George's County, Maryland, where Blair graduated from high school. He attended the University of Baltimore and studied psychology, business and finance. On 12 May 1968, while in his third year of college, he was drafted into the U.S. Army.
Blair attended basic training at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and infantry school at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. Ft. Polk was such a miserable place to train that he was almost excited when he got orders for Vietnam. In Vietnam he served one year as a platoon sergeant with the 198th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, in the Quang Ngai Province. He had quite a few life threatening experiences while there. One that stands out occurred while he was walking point on patrol with his men. He triggered a hidden wire which caused a ‘bouncing Betty’ to pop-up out of the ground. Fortunately for him, it went back into the ground. (phew!)
When Blair left the military he, like most of the troops at that time, was a little lost. He was working as a bartender at his local Moose Lodge when a friend introduced him to her sister, Martha. They were married for 20 wonderful years and raised two daughters. Martha worked as the executive secretary to the postmaster general of the United States, until she passed away almost 32 years ago. Their daughters, Debbie and Diane, have given him six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. His family brings him great joy and he is so happy to be able to see them regularly.
When he was first married, Blair was involved in a terrible car accident which put him in a body cast in the hospital for about four months. He still has residual problems from that accident, but that has never stopped him. He used his college training in business and finance and began his employment in the sales industry. He worked for John Hancock Insurance and Brokers, Rollins Enterprises, in local sales, then he was promoted to regional sales director for seven years. He was then again promoted to NE regional sales manager for another seven years. He was next employed at Stewart Enterprises in Maryland, where he became sales manager of the year, after only one year. He returned to Rollins Enterprises when he was offered the position of regional sales manager for Orkin, a subsidiary of Rollins. He retired from Rollins Enterprises after 17 years. After his retirement, he dabbled in real estate, and owned several homes and apartment houses.
Blair gives thanks to the Lord for his wonderful life and all of the times he has been saved. He is very proud of his children and their families and all they have accomplished.