Major-General Al Howard, Deputy Commander of the Canadian Army, visited Nate’s to present two large laminated photos from Smith’s recent visit to Afghanistan to hang on the walls of the diner-style restaurant.
BGen Chuck Lamarre, who commanded the Mission Transition Task Force in Afghanistan in 2011, joined MGen Howard to make the presentation.
The gifts are a show of gratitude for Smith’s support of Canadian servicemen and women.
Last Remembrance Day, Smith and Nate’s Deli co-owner Scott Singer travelled to Kandahar, Afghanistan where they fed 1,200 troops.
“We showed up with everything: 600lbs of smoked meat, rye bread, mustard, and pickles,” said Singer, who helped serve the soldiers.
Smith and Singer also brought with them a banner that hung in the deli for customers to write messages of support and thanks to the men and women deployed overseas.
“I came from a military family,” said Smith, as he served a busy lunch crowd decked out in his own “uniform,” a grease-stained apron. “I had six brothers who served overseas in the Second World War.”
Though Smith has rubbed shoulders with prime ministers, presidents and celebrities over the years, it is his charitable work in the community that has garnered him the most fame, including a plethora of awards and honourary degrees in recognition of his business acumen and philanthropic work.
Article by Laura Banks
Photos by Sgt Errol Morel & Sergeant Lance Wade, Canadian Army