Col. Smittle is a busy man
Kathy Schlaeger | Aug 4, 2011, 12:08 p.m.
Many Cincinnati radio listeners recognize the voice of Col. Dean Smittle from his military updates on 700 WLW every weekday morning just before 7 a.m. during the Jim Scott radio show.
Smittle describes weaponry, troop movements and offers other insights from more than three decades of service in the Air Force and Army. He has served as a radio consultant for 11 years and he has no plans to leave his post.
Every night of the week for about 90 minutes, Smittle can be found doing research for his daily report, which lasts about 2-3 minutes on the air. His wife, Clare, a retired library assistant, often helps him with the research. After completing the research, the colonel types his report and sends it into the Jim Scott show.
All of these daily reports have been compiled into a book called “Thumbs Up America, Americans At War.” The briefs have been formatted for the reader in military time with day, month and year, for easy reference for the reader. The time period covered is from Jan. 1 to July 27, 2010.
The book or short history brief is intended to give the reader a broad overview of the current progress of the war, and the use of high tech weapon systems that are available to today’s military commanders. Combat photos are provided by the 82nd Airborne Combat Photo Teams and are current as of publication along with notations for the combat zone. The royalties from the colonel’s book benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the scholarships they provide to children of men who died.
Many people may be surprised to learn how the colonel found his way to be a radio correspondent. In 1964, Col. Smittle was called upon to do military briefings for the general while in the Army. It was work that he enjoyed at the time, but he never imagined that it would have any impact on his life later.
Just after Sept. 11, 2001, WLW called the American Legion looking for someone with broadcasting experience and knowledge of bombs. The American Legion gave WLW Smittle’s name and he has been on the show since that time.
“I do what I do to keep the focus of the public on the troop and families who make tremendous sacrifices every day. It’s important to the troops,” said Smittle.
In his spare time, Smittle enjoys military history and science fiction. In fact, he has been a fan of Superman his entire life. When he was just four years old, he tried to fly while he was wearing his Superman costume. His mother was not surprised when her son wanted to serve in the Air Force.
Smittle is an active Aerospace Artist and has had his work exhibited in local galleries, national museums and art center. He was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Smittle is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, the 82nd Airorborne Association of Cincinnati Chapter, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
With Smittle’s degree in fine arts, he has taught in Batavia and Princeton Junior High School. He has also taught at University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State and Xavier University.
He lives in Delhi Township, Ohio, with his wife, Clare. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. He continues to serve our country with his daily actions.
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