(Washington, D.C.) – Thomas H. Corey, president Vietnam Veterans of America
(VVA), issued a statement today mourning the death of Jack Smith, a survivor
of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley and an Emmy-Award-winning correspondent
for ABC-TV News. Smith, 58, died April 7 in Greenbrea, California. He
suffered from pancreatic cancer.
“During the two decades he worked for
ABC, Jack reached the pinnacle of his profession and was one of the most
respected news correspondents in the nation,” Corey said. “But he never
forgot his service in the Vietnam War nor his fellow Vietnam veterans. He
consistently spoke out on veterans’ issues. Jack was a personal friend and a
friend of all Vietnam veterans. He was always there for us whenever we
called on him.”
VVA recognized Jack Smith, a VVA Life
Member, for his broadcasting work in 1999 when he was given a VVA Arts Award
for his contributions to American culture. He was the emcee and keynote
speaker at VVA’s 20th anniversary celebration in 1998 in Washington.
Jack’s best work,” Corey said, “was his involvement with the six-part
documentary Vietnam: The Soldiers’ Story for the Learning Channel.
That series reflected his knowledge of the war on a personal level and his
strong commitment to show what it was like to take part in the Vietnam War
for American soldiers.
a strong and effective Vietnam veterans’ advocate, and he used his national
media platform to speak out for those who served in the nation’s longest and
most controversial overseas war. Vietnam veterans owe him a debt. We will
miss him terribly.”