September 17, 2002
It is with sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Gary Smith today. Gary had just returned from the United Religions Initiative Summit in Rio, representing the voice of indigenous people.
He had been made a chief by the Amazonian people in a simple ceremony on the eve of his departure. Gary was a Special Forces medic who had served three tours of duty in Vietnam and had been awarded the Purple Heart.
Gary was a warrior with the biggest heart on the planet. He was a major force in The Prayer Vigil for the Earth and for United Religions Initiative. Gary was proud of his Oneida Wolf Clan heritage, and was honored to carry the Mayan Staff. He traveled tirelessly working with the traditional elders. He was the DC representative for The Wittenberg Center.
Gary is survived by his daughter; Rebecca S. Smith(the light and pride of his life), his parents; Margaret and Sherwood Smith, sisters; Lee Smith and Laurie Smith and long time companions; Gail A. Martin, Rabiah Al Nur, Michael Raven Horse, Winnie De Los Santos.
Gary will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery September 25th 2002, 10am at ArlingtonNational Cemetery. Contact Rabiah at 703.351.5188 for further information.
Memorials for Gary will also take place in San Francisco and other places and a special honoring for Gary will take place at the Prayer Vigil for the Earth on September 21.
A fund is being set up to assist his family at this time. Donations may be made to:
The Wittenberg Center
The Gary Smith Fund
395 Wittenberg Road
Bearsville, NY 12409
As a long time friend of Gary's, I know he would like me to thank many of you for making his journey here so rich and full. Gary was a blessing to us all. He died with a smile on his face. He enters a new world greeted by many who love and honor him. May we all celebrate his life.
I can live with losing the Great Fight...I can not live with not fightingit !!!
Gary R. Smith
Left us August 29, 2002. Funeral 10 am, September 25, 2002 at Arlington National Cemetary
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Just opened your latest flyer and read about "Doc". That really hurts. He made quite an impression on me while I was in DC, and we shared a warm hug before parting.
Your friendship meant a lot to him. He looked up to you as one who had been through the fire and had found a way through into having an authentic spiritual life. I know he wants me to thank you for being there for him through good and bad.
Gary was a highly decorated veteran of Vietnam where he was a Specialforces medic. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, BronzeStar Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Medical Badge, Gallantry cross BronzeStar, and many others. He not only treated the American soldiers but theNorth and South Vietnamese soldiers with equal care and professionalism.He did not hesitate to take up arms when the need arose and gained therespect of the many men who served with him.
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