Dying Army veteran's wish to sing on the radio comes true

Dying Army veteran's wish to sing on the radio comes true

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - "Words can't express the emotion we are all feeling. It's simply a blessing."

Those were the emotional words of Jessica Hairfield, the granddaughter of Jessie H. Smith, as she, her husband Chris, her mother Bonnie Woodlief and step-father Jack prepare to give Smith a dream come true.

The 78-year-old Army veteran from Chesterfield is currently in hospice care as he battles Stage Four cancer, but the family says one thing has never changed as he's fought the disease: his love of music and the dream of hearing himself on the radio one day.

The family says they don't know how much time Smith has left after he was diagnosed with cancer in late 2015, but they wanted to make Smith's wish of hearing himself on the radio come true, and thanks to the kindness of a local funeral home, that dream is becoming a reality.

Thanks to A Simple Wish Foundation, a recording of Smith performing Your Cheating Heart was played on 93.1 Hank FM at 7:10 a.m. Friday.

Jessica said her grandfather has always loved music, especially Hank Williams, Sr., adding that he used to play guitar and sing often before a surgery forced him to step away from the hobby he loved.

"Ever since I was a kid, he's always been a Hank Williams Sr. fan," Jessica remarked. "He was gifted with such a beautiful voice."

When Smith wasn't singing, the veteran ran his own roofing business and gave back to the community and Jessica was emotional as she thought about the gift she's helping give to her grandfather.

"This is a dream come true," Jessica said. "It's wonderful seeing people out there have big hearts to make this come true."

Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Services has partnered with local hospice organizations to grant "simple" wishes for hospice recipients.

For Jessica, Friday morning will be a special day, as her family will gather around the radio to hear Smith's song on the radio.

"You have no idea how much this means to my family," Jessica said. "These happy tears feel so good rolling down my face."

Jessica was thankful to Daniel Woodfin, director of Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Services, Larry Spiaggi, owner of Morrissett and Leslie Alsling, director of A Simple Wish Foundation for helping make this happen.

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