CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One of the first things you will hear Army Veteran Ron Taylor Smith say when you first meet him is, “America is the greatest country in the world.”
As a draftee in the ‘60s, he served 31 years in the U.S. Army. And after spending time across 49 countries, he said now is the time for him to directly serve his community.
“I put on that uniform because I want to make sure people can vote in this country,” Smith said.
He said it’s the Christian and the Boy Scout in him that has prepared to serve his fellow citizens of America.
“I believe as a veteran I need to serve at home — starting in Nueces County.”
So when his phone rings and you begin to leave a message on his answering machine — not to worry — more often than not Smith will pick up just at the nick of time.
“This is Ron.”
When early voting began on Tuesday Smith said he was “ready to burn gas” so long as he can take seniors, veterans, and the disabled to the polls.
“We’re blessed to be in America,” he said.
The Trinidad native has lived in the Corpus Christi area for the past 14 years.
On a cold and soggy Thursday morning he started up his Buick and headed for Patricia Meredith’s home five miles away so he could take her to her nearest polling location.
“There’s not enough Ron’s in the world,” Patricia Meredith said. “He is a wonderful person.”
Meredith — who is legally blind — said she hasn’t missed an election since she voted for Ronald Reagan. Thanks to Smith, she said she didn’t miss this one.
“Being blind is no excuse not to vote,” she said as she was guided by Smith to the polls in the cold rain.
Since Early Voting began two days ago, Smith has given a ride to almost a dozen people.