Thomasville veteran writes Wounded Warrior creed

Though I am wounded, I will always be a warrior
May. 23, 2013 @ 07:04 PM

Joey Smith of Thomasville inspired a creed for the Wounded Warrior. The Marine Corps adopted what Smith had written as the “Creed of the Wounded Warrior” to inspire countless others.
“Though I am wounded, I will always be a warrior. I will never give up, nor quit in the face of adversity. I will do my best in all that I do and achieve. I will not allow my injuries to limit me, and most of all, I will never forget my fallen comrades or leave a fellow injured warrior behind.”
Smith followed his creed by entering the 2010 Wounded Warrior games, the first year of that competition in shooting, swimming, cycling and archery.
Smith has returned to the games every year since. He competed in archery, air rifle and pistol events during the 2013 Warrior Games held May 11-16  in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Smith on May 13 won the Bronze in the archery games.
As of press time, no other results of the games were available. It doesn’t matter. We know that Smith is a winner.
The Times has done several stories about Smith, but his journey is one that is remarkable and bears repeating. 
In 2005, Smith, a Marine and retired Army sergeant, lay in a Veterans Affairs hospital, wracked with pain, as he watched other wounded veterans around him suffering, despondent and without hope.
Smith was at the lowest point in his life.
A year earlier, he had been in an operating base in Afghanistan, on his fourth deployment when “it” happened. He was working alongside Afghan soldiers around some storage containers. Two of them climbed on the roof of one of the containers and intentionally pushed a container on top of him.
For the next four years. Smith was transferred to multiple hospitals where he underwent three spinal cord surgeries, as well as one on his leg. Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive.
He also lost the use of his voice for those four years, but using pen and paper, he wrote the Wounded Warrior words that helped to inspire others.
The Wounded Warrior games inspire an intense inter-service and interpersonal rivalry which motivates the athletes, Smith said, but at the end of the day, it’s one team, one fight as they help each other through the healing process.
Things have been looking up for Smith, who said he plans to return to the games in the future.
In 2010, he and his wife Debbi received a special gift. Homes For Our Heroes, a nonprofit, donated a wheelchair accessible home for them in Thomasville. He said words can’t describe how much that meant to them.
During the competitions this week, some 400 media from around the world descended on the games, outnumbering the athletes nearly two to one.
Smith said he thinks that is awesome and he hopes the media will tell the world about what it means to be a wounded warrior and how they try hard to rebuild their lives by assisting one another, despite the suffering they have endured.

This article was edited by Community News Editor Kathy Stuart.