Trooper's Daughter: Dad loved family and country unconditionally

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) - The daughter of Nebraska State Patrol Trooper, Jerry Smith, said at his funeral Thursday that all he wanted to do is protect and serve. Mechelle Smith shared her families memories of their husband, father, and grandfather at the funeral. Smith was killed June 20th in his patrol car near Bridgeport.

Mechelle Smith spoke at her the funeral of her father, NSP Trooper Jerry Smith. (Source: KNEP)

The ceremony for Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Jerry Smith was a combination of Christian and Military/Nebraska State Patrol Services. Dozens of law enforcement officers from New York to California traveled to Scottsbluff to show support for the man killed in the line of duty

His daughter, Mechelle Smith, said the family is extremely grateful for the way people are honoring her father. Mechelle said her dad was selfless, and he loved family and country unconditionally. She said they were taught it's never easy to do the right thing, but stand up and believe in what's right. Mechelle said all he wanted to do was protect and serve.

The funeral service was at the gymnasium on the campus of Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) in Scottsbluff.

"I'm Proud to be an American" by Lee Greenwood was one of the songs played during the service.

Governor Pete Ricketts spoke at the service and thanked the many men and women in uniform who sacrifice their time and the risk they take for what he called a noble mission. He also acknowledged Smith's life of service. Ricketts said while we mourn, we must remember Jerry lives a life of service to his country and use it as inspiration.

"Where do we get men like Trooper Jerry Smith? We need more men like that. Not fewer," said Ricketts.

The service closed with the song "Go Rest High on that Mountain" by Vince Gill.

Trooper Smith, 51, of Scottsbluff, joined the Nebraska State Patrol in 2014, graduating with the 56th Basic Recruit Class on May 1, 2015. Graduating at the age of 47, he is believed to be the oldest recruit to ever complete NSP’s Basic Recruit Camp. He was stationed in Scottsbluff as part of Troop E for his entire NSP career.

Prior to joining NSP, Trooper Smith led a decorated career in the United States Army, serving our country from 1986 to 2011. Trooper Smith earned numerous honors during his military career, including a bronze star for his service in two tours of combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For those wishing to send cards, please send them to the Nebraska State Patrol Troop E Headquarters, 4500 Avenue I, Scottsbluff, NE, 69361.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Smith's family. The donations will go to the family for any and all expenses incurred following his death.

Trooper Jerry Smith (Source: Nebraska State Patrol)