Air Force vet who lost her husband to COVID is getting a helping hand to start her next chapter

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — When Carrie Smith lost her husband to COVID-19 earlier this year, it derailed her plans for their future. The two of them were planning to move into his childhood home, where her deceased in-laws used to live. Now, she is starting the next chapter of her life on her own, but not without some help.

“He was a kind, loving, he was a loving husband,” she said. “He was a faithful friend.”

Smith and her husband Lloyd, both served in the Air Force.

“I always called him the mountain man,” she said. “He had a beard and he let his hair grow because in the service you had to keep it short. And he was like no, not going to do that anymore.”

She also tells WFXR News that Lloyd loved animals, especially dogs and cats.

Lloyd died in January of COVID-19 after 20 days in the hospital.

“The nurse came down to get me and she took me up to his room, and I was able to spend about 45 minutes with him, so I was with him when he passed…We were together 36 years, so I was hoping for a lot more, but that just wasn’t in the card for me.”

Smith is still moving ahead with her plan to move into her husband’s childhood home.

“A lot of fond memories. I remember before my husband and I got married, I would come and visit him and his mom would say, ‘when are you going to get married?’ and I’d say, ‘as soon as he asks me.'”

On Monday, June 7, a total of 10 recruits with the Air Force helped her with that move.

Tyler Boyd is one of those local recruits.

“It broke my heart a little bit hearing about that,” he said, “because it’s just really sad. It’s more than her, people that are going through that, but I’m just glad I’m here to help her more her new furniture out to her new home.”

The recruitment office had asked community organization The Lighthouse for volunteer opportunities, and The Lighthouse suggested helping Carrie.

“Thank you for helping me so much,” Smith said to the young recruits.

Also on Monday, Staff Sgt. Hunter Moore presented her with a certificate of appreciation to honor her late husband Lloyd’s service.

As Smith moves into her in-law’s home, she’s donating their old refrigerators to a local food pantry. She says her in-laws were generous and giving people, and it’s what they would have wanted.

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