KSLA Salutes: Army veteran Jeffrion Smith
“... Everything is a team because being in the water department is a dangerous job”
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Jeffrion Smith is an MS3 water maintenance specialist with Shreveport’s water department. He’s held this job for the past five years.
“We are the operators that control the breakages in the city pipes,” Smith explained. “If you have a busted pipe, we come out and fix it across the city.”
In February, he and others in the Shreveport Water & Sewerage Department were working nonstop to fix busted pipes throughout the city due to back-to-back storms that brought blizzard conditions.
“They actually let us take the trucks home because we were constantly out on calls because people had frozen pipes,” Smith said. “We had to supply them with water and had to get there as quick as possible because everyone needs water.”
Smith was born in Shreveport and raised in Haughton. He said he decided to join the U.S. Army after high school. “I enjoyed it. It’s helped me grow into the person I am today.
“I went through training and then I was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado,” he continued. “I was there from 2001 to 2004. I deployed with the unit and went to Egypt and Iraq. I went to California and did missions at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. I then went to Fort Polk. That was my last active-duty station, and I worked directly under the general. Then I came here and went to a drill sergeant unit and went to drill sergeant school.”
Smith served his country for 13 years. He said his biggest takeaway was enjoying his service and the teamwork.
“I came back home and the city is great job,” Smith said. “You got a big family here and it works hand-in-hand like the military because you are working with a group of people. It’s like a brotherhood. Sometimes you see them more than you see your own family because of the hours and things you have to do. I really enjoy it.
“Everything in the military is strictly teamwork. There is no ‘I.’ Every time you train or have to set something up, you need help. Teamwork is very central,” Smith added. “This here, with your crew, everything is a team because being in the water department is a dangerous job. Teamwork is key at the water department.”
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