Returning from Patrol in Baghdad - cropped tight

Horizon Education Centers is proud to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. And on this Memorial Day, we also say “Thank you” to the men and women in our military and our veterans who served.

One of them is our own Executive Director Dave Smith. Before he became the executive director in 1995, he was a United States Army officer. Dave joined the Army ROTC while attending Cleveland State University during the Cold War period. He felt a strong need to serve and protect our county. Dave’s ROTC training included a series of basic training courses. After graduating, he was stationed at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, WA.

Over his 22 years in the military, he had four major deployments to Honduras and Jamaica where he directed a National Building Project. He was also deployed to Texas where he worked on the border near Mexico. Dave had a combat deployment to Iraq in 2005-2006, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Campaign Medal Combat Action badge. Dave retired as a major in 2010.

Dave looks back on his military career fondly. “After 22 years of service, the friendship that was made between the men and women that I served with became a brotherhood (sisterhood),” Dave says.

He explains that there were some hardships, but they made him and his colleagues stronger. “Every day there were challenges and situations where we had to depend on each other. There was no greater rapport than the one I shared among my military unit,” Dave says. “It’s the best part of the time I served,” he adds.

Dave also thinks his time in the military prepared him for his career in education. “There is no better place than the military to prepare one for adulthood. The military gives you a work ethic, confidence and structure. The army’s systems that were set in place were a good model as I developed Horizon Education Centers.”

Horizon Education Centers thanks Dave Smith for his service and for his commitment to developing our children. Thank you for always having their best interests in mind. And thank you for the freedoms we are so blessed to have because of your service, and those who came before you.

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