As we grow closer to Memorial Day (May 29), it is only fitting the spotlight turn towards the Coronado chapter of the VFW Auxiliary and Audrey Pearl Smock.
Smock, 94, was born in 1929, and hails from Decorah, Iowa. She met her husband, Donald Wesley Smock, in Decorah in 1946, and they married a year later.
They came to Coronado for her husband’s first Navy duty station in the late 1950s.
In 1966, they made the decision to stay in Coronado. They purchased their home the following year and she has lived there ever since.
They raised two young boys in Coronado, who went through the school system here.
She has four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Her oldest grandson is Brian Smock, the Coronado Municipal Golf Course professional. Smock’s husband Donald died in 1999.
Long Navy Exchanges service
Smock worked 23 years at US Navy Exchanges as a civilian employee.
She worked at the Navy Exchange in Guam in 1955, the Long Beach Navy Exchange, the Great Lakes Navy Exchange, and then worked at North Island Navy Exchange from 1966-1981.
Smock was active in the VFW Auxiliary when they lived in Iowa. After her husband retired from the Navy (1973), she signed up at the Coronado Auxiliary and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
The Coronado branch of the VFW Auxiliary began in 1932, and Smock joined in 1968.
There were 93 members then, and today there are 167.
Smock is the oldest living member and serves as VFW Auxiliary president.
“We volunteer at the VA and do whatever we can to help our veterans and their families.”-Aubrey Smock
“We have many programs we promote,” Smock said. “The VA Hospital is one of them. We volunteer at the VA and do whatever we can to help our veterans and their families.”
Smock works annually on the Buddy Poppy program, and helps create ditty bags and backpacks that contain clothing, bedding, books and puzzles, and personal care items to help veterans and their families.
“I’ve witnessed a profound change in the people we’ve helped through the Auxiliary. When I began, it was mostly men we helped. Today there are many, many lady veterans, and that has been very rewarding to see,” she said.
Citations and awards
Smock’s home is filled with citations and awards, thanking her for many thousands of hours dedicated to helping our veterans and their families.
“We do a good job of honoring those who have served,” Smock said. “The VFW and VFW Auxiliary give me a place to go, and provide a way to help our veterans. It’s a friendly group, and has been since my first day. At my age, I feel very fortunate to still be able to help others.”
Memorial Day Services will be held Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m.
More information is available at www.vfwpost2422.org or by calling (619)
Submitted by Joe Ditler, a Coronado storyteller and historian.