Lesson From Home Helped Orphan Rescue

For the past three months, the only way Kara Smith has seen her husband, Lt. Jason Smith, was as a small snapshot on her computer screen.

"Usually, I'm on here about every other day, sometimes it's for about thirty seconds and sometimes we can sit down for an hour and talk, which is nice," she told CBS News' Tracy Smith.

But last week, there was Jason, big as life, on the CBS Evening News. As Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan reported, Jason's unit rescued 24 Iraqi orphans — special needs children found naked and starving to death.

The soldiers brought them to a better orphanage, brought them supplies and toys — and brought them back to life.

It was a mission Jason was uniquely prepared for. Back home, Kara's a special education teacher.

He would sometimes visit her class. But his real education came from a guy named Michael, a 25-year old who's mentally challenged. He's Kara's big brother.

Did Kara ever imagine that Jason's experience with special-needs kids, with her brother, would serve him in Iraq?

"Who would have ever thought?" Kara said. "But what a wonderful thing that it did."

Ever since they met in high school, Jason watched the woman he loved care for her brother — doing little things like brushing his teeth. It's something she still does.

"Every morning and every night," Kara said.

A simple act is "that human-to-human contact that they need so much," Kara said.


Find out how to help the orphans.
See the photos given to CBS News.

Read Lara Logan's reporter's notebook on this story.


So when Jason visited the orphaned boys, he knew just what to do.

Pictures on the CBS Evening News showed Jason brushing one of the orphans' teeth.

A soldier's wife rarely gets to see her husband in action, but seeing him, especially in this situation meant everything to Kara.

"That one mission made it completely worth it to me," she said. "The entire time he's gone, no matter how long it is, just knowing that 24 children came out alive and now have an endless future, who knows what it may bring because of that one day, it was all worth it. No weapons had to be fired, everyone lived in the end, it was wonderful and they all came out heroes.