ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Sen. William “Will” Smith Jr., D-Montgomery, a lieutenant with the United States Navy Reserve, is slated to be deployed to Afghanistan on March 29.
Smith, who serves as vice chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, would leave the legislative session 10 days before it adjourns on April 8. He will take part in Operation Resolute Support, a NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
Smith is the primary sponsor for 38 bills, but said his departure will have a “minimal impact” on the Senate schedule.
“His service is an honor to all of us,” said Sen. Bobby Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “It’s not going to be easy without him. That last week and a half is always tough.”
Smith said he’s been in contact with U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Mitchellville; Sen. Robert Cassilly, R-Harford; and Sen. J.B. Jennings, R-Baltimore and Harford counties, who have all served in the military, in the weeks leading up to his deployment.
“That’s the great thing about military service,” Smith said. “The party affiliation and the politics is separate and apart from what we do.”
Video by Anngie Morales