I served 3 1/2 years in the Canadian Navy. My father was a World War II vet who saw action while serving with the navy in the North Atlantic. And my grandfather was a WW I army vet. I have proudly been a member, in good standing, of two Royal Canadian Legions. I quite religiously attend - and shed tears at - Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Bottom line: I have a great deal of respect for all military veterans... past, present and future.

That said - and with all due respect - I do hope that, with the passing of Sergeant Ernest "Smokey" Smith, that's the last time we see/hear the nickname "Smokey."

Yes, Sergeant Smith lived to 91... and even made it to the ripe old age of 82 before he developed emphysema. He obviously smoked cigars in sufficient numbers to earn him both his nickname and a deadly smoking-induced disease.

Sergeant Smith beat the odds, twice. Most smokers aren't lucky enough to beat the odds once.

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