It's often dangerous work in Iraq. Marvin and Willie Smith of Lincoln County know that their son, Ben, is often right in the middle of it.
“There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of Ben and say prayers for him,” says Willie Smith.
Last March, when returning to Baghdad, Smith's convoy came under attack.
“His convoy was hit with an IED, and it was a truck in front of him that was hit,” said Marvin Smith.
It was a hostile situation, but in the midst of chaos, his parents say Smith put himself in more harm's way to help others.
“Ben helped get them out of the truck, and I think he applied a tourniquet to their legs,” said Marvin.
For his heroic acts, Smith was awarded the Bronze star of valor.
“I was terribly proud of my son, but of course I was proud of my son, before.”
Smith graduated from Lincoln County High School in 2001 where he played football. His parents told say always knew he was going to be a leader.
Smith works in military police, helping to train Iraqi police. He's been in the service since 2005, stationed in Germany. But he's been in Iraq for a year, away from his wife and young son.
“And during the holiday's it's especially hard, you know it's a time for family to come together. Always a piece missing,” said Willie.
Smith's Iraqi tour of duty will end in March.