By: Stefanie Thomas
Residents of all ages and first responders of various agencies lined the streets Wednesday afternoon when the body of Capt. Neal Smith of the Atascocita Fire Department returned home.
The procession originated in Beaumont, where Smith spent his last hours on life support at an area hospital following heat exhaustion he suffered during a training exercise Sept. 15. On Sept. 16, he lost his fight to complications of heat-related illness.
The AVFD ambulance bearing Smith's body made its first stop at AVFD Station 1 on Farmingham Rd. in Atascocita, where Smith was last assigned, for a presentation of honors. As part of the ceremony, a radio transmission commanded "all hands" to the fire station to welcome home a fallen brother.
From there, the procession progressed to Eagle Springs Elementary School where local fire and law enforcement officials, along with residents, bid their final farewell to this valued public servant.
Just prior to the procession's final destination at Rosewood Funeral Home in Humble, Smith passed through his own neighborhood on Roaring River Ct. in Atascocita one last time, greeted by residents, fire department officials, his wife and two young children.
Funeral services for Smith will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at the First Assembly of God Church at 1915 FM 1960 Bypass Rd. E. in Humble.
A public viewing is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23, from 5-8 p.m., at Rosewood Funeral Home, located at 2602 S. Houston Ave. in Humble.
The Leon Law Firm salutes this fallen hero. May God bless his family and friends during this difficult time.