LETTER: To the Individuals Who Broke Into Our Home


It has been a couple weeks since the three of you decided to invade our home, our privacy and our lives. I suspect that you think that we deserved it somehow, or that maybe one of our “kids” did. At this point I don’t think it matters, what does matter is that all three of you know about all of the lives you have affected. Our home has been “open” to wayward kids for years – friends of our children that have come into our home looking for a safe place to crash, to eat, take a shower or simply to feel safe. You three have made the last one more difficult, but not impossible. No matter your motivation, our motivation to help kids in need will continue, unfailing. But that was never in question, but who you REALLY stole from is a question you don’t know the answer to. Now maybe you will.

This fall our family sent TWO fine young men off to the service. Our sons joined the Army and were in basic training when you broke into our home – one of them at Fort Benning and the other at Fort Jackson. These two young men chose to serve and protect our country, and ironically your freedom. Before they shipped out to the Army these young men entrusted to our care their most prized possessions. You didn’t take rifles, shotguns and pistols – you took family heirlooms handed down from grandfathers, uncles and parents. You didn’t stop there either, you took games, a guitar and hunting items that along with the guns you stole had a great deal more sentimental value than any real monetary ones. You knew these items were in our home, and I suspect you knew at least one of the people you stole from, but my sincere hope is that this information finds you – or someone you know and causes them to do the right thing.

Now that it is after Christmas, I have had time to reflect and I am more saddened than angry. The cruel irony of what my sons lost while protecting what you three take for granted is heartbreaking. My plea to the community is simply this: if you know something, please call the Sheriff’s department – our boys in uniform deserve better.

Lane Smith