How Smith, Smarr families are doing one year after sons killed in line of duty

Nick Smarr and Jody Smith graduated from the Police Academy, and were sworn in as deputies in December 7, 2012.

Unfortunately, four years later, on the same day, they were killed in the line of duty.

Even with all the support from friends and others in the community, it was a very hard and emotional one-year anniversary for the Smith and Smarr family.

“We won’t let Nick or Jody’s memory die,” Janice Smarr, Nick Smarr’s mother said.

The past 365 days have been tough.

“The pain is no different than yesterday, or the day before, or the day before that,” Sharon Johnson, Jody Smith’s mother, said. “It’s still the same as it was last year, this day.”

With the town showing love and support any chance they get has helped these two families.

“They all loved Nick,” Smarr said. “They all loved Jody. They cried like we cried.”

But no hug or words of encouragement can fill that void.

“It’s the worst pain that you can ever go through,” Johnson said. “There’s no cure. It’s a pain you just got to endure.”

Johnson visiting her son has helped her get through the day.

“It means so much for me to sit there, talk to him, and tell him how much I love him,” Johnson said.

God was the only one to really help Johnson get through the past year.

“I had nothing else to turn to that could give me the strength,” she said.

Knowing that Nick is in a better place it what helps Smarr.

“I know I’ll see him one day again,” she said. “Until then, I just live one day at a time.”

This will be the second Christmas without their boys. Sharon Johnson bought a sweater for her son three years ago to wear on Christmas, but it was too warm that year.

“I don’t think it’s going to be hot this Christmas, so his mama’s going to wear it,” she said. "I’ll wear it with pride. It’ll be three numbers too big for me, but it’ll be so warm. It’ll have to do until I can be in Jody’s arms again.”

Jody and Nick will be honored with a memorial wall that will lead with Christmas parade in Americus on Monday.

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