Rick Smith: 50th State House District –
Challenger, seeking to unseat 2 term incumbent
Bill Faison (D)
General Election: November 2nd, 2010
Raised in a broken home, spending most of the year with his single mother and younger brother living in a small neighborhood on “the wrong side of the tracks” in California, then spending parts of his summers with his father in Oklahoma, Rick never really realized he was a “disadvantaged” or “at risk” child. Instead, he learned at an early age that love and money had very little to do with each other, and that the only “advantage” he needed to be successful was hard work and a desire for something better.
At the age of 17 he took that conviction, coupled it with his already intense patriotism, and decided that his first role as an adult would be to serve the nation that had given him the blessings of liberty. He spoke to the recruiters from each of the services, and as soon as he saw the words “God County Corps“ emblazoned on the recruiter’s paperweight he knew that he would become an U.S Marine.
Half way through basic training at Camp Pendleton, the base chaplain and the series commander informed Rick that his father, 38 years old, had been involved in an accidental explosion and was in critical condition in an Oklahoma burn center. Within hours, the Marines and the Red Cross had packed Rick’s service “Charlie” uniforms, obtained a plane ticket to Oklahoma City, and had him on a plane. That same evening Rick found himself standing at his father’s bedside with his uncle (whom he had never met) while his father, in a coma, struggled to breathe. Less than an hour later, the doctors informed Rick that there was nothing that could be done, that his father was brain dead and was only being kept alive by the machines. At 18 years of age Rick had to decide to turn off the switch and allow his father’s body to follow his already departed spirit. A few days later, after the funeral and returning home to comfort his mother briefly, Rick returned to Marine Corps boot camp, where he informed his senior drill instructor of his intention to complete his training and become a Marine. Through dedication and hard work, he managed to make up for the time he had missed, and graduated with his platoon. Rick’s love of his county was sharpened a year later, when he and the Forward Observation Squadron he was attached to packed up and deployed to a soccer stadium turned airfield in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. Seeing the living conditions of the Saudi’s, especially the oppression of their women, opened his eyes and gave him a new appreciation of the tremendous liberty we enjoy back Stateside. The experiences of war served to sharpen his appreciation of peace, while the gratitude of the newly liberated people of Kuwait reminded him that there are things worse than war, and that the liberty of another human being was something worth fighting for.
Arriving in North Carolina after the Gulf War, Rick set about learning about his new home. The rich history, coupled with the genuine friendliness of the people (and probably the BBQ) made him decide this would be the State he called home. After completing his service with the Marines, he set about applying his passion and energy to the task of building a career in the technology field. This led him a few years later to Charlotte, NC – where he met the woman who would cause him to change his “God Country Corps” motto to the more complete version that defines him to this day – “God Family Country.”
Over the next few years, Rick and Liz and their growing family moved from Charlotte to Greensboro, where he got his first taste of entrepreneurship helping to launch a successful library automation company. That company was purchased and the new company wanted him to move to Minneapolis – but Rick could not bring himself to uproot his family from North Carolina – so he declined. Instead he and his wife and their children (7 at that time) moved to Caswell County and took ownership of a small Amish style county store called Yoder’s Country Market, where they have lived and worked for nearly six years. In this time, their business and their family has grown, due to their reliance on God, on each other, and on their neighbors and friends, weathering the downturn of the economy and the loss of Liz’s job at a NC corporation to overseas labor.
These are the events that have shaped Rick’s life and helped to define who he is. It’s not a rags-to-riches story, but rather the story of a man who has been free to live the American dream. The American dream is not about becoming wealthy, it is about being free to pursue happiness. Rick has found that happiness in the treasure of his loving wife, who is his best friend, his business partner, and mother of his eight incredible children; Brittany, Ayla, Brenna, Kyle, Daniel, Chaeli, Matthew and Patrick Henry. It is this treasure that drives him to run for office, to ensure that his children, and every child in North Carolina, have the opportunity to freely pursue their own American Dream, a pursuit free from the endless spending, crushing debt and constant assault on liberty that have become the hallmarks of our Federal and State government. Our young people need to see a government that is honorable, principled, and small. A government responsive to the desires of the people, held in check by integrity and adherence to the law, and always with a view towards giving our children a better nation than we inherited from our fathers.