A dedication to my brother, Bootie Smith

1948 - 2014

This page is dedicated to Ellis “Bootie” Smith.  Bootie died on May 18 th, 2014.  He was a charter member of our Chapter, and helped in so many ways to help us get our charter.  It would be impossible to say how much he’s missed by everyone who ever knew and loved him, including myself.

Bootie was a simple man in many ways.  He knew what he wanted to grow up to be from a very early age, a Marine, and a fireman in that order.  He did both, and was very proud of his accomplishments.

Like I said before, he was very proud to be a Marine and serve in Vietnam.  He served with the 3rd Marine Division as a crew chief with the mortars.  He had war stories, but didn’t like to tell them to just anyone.  That’s the way most war veterans are.  I felt privileged when he would tell his stories to me.

Bootie was a career fireman, and was regarded as one of the best in our area.  He loved the excitement of putting out fires, and helping people at the same time.  Throughout his life he was always helping someone out.  It didn’t matter what kind of help they needed, he was always there.

I lost my biological brother because of the Vietnam War, and my service in Nam.  When I met Bootie I knew that he was the brother I had always wanted in my life.  We had the same interests, the same goals, and we just loved doing things together.  When he needed help himself, I was proud to help him for a change.

Things will never be the same without him, but the time he was in all of our lives was magical, and because of his devotion to the Chapter it was made better.  There will never be another person like Bootie, and I feel blessed to have known and loved him.

From your brother,
Sam Thompson, President
Piedmont Area Chapter #752
Vietnam Veterans of America