Soldier Spotlight

The military warriors, past and present, are just that. They are WARRIORS! Despite difficult odds, they still continue on with the mission whether it is during the fight or in training.

This months Soldier Spotlight segment is about Army CPT. Scott M, Smiley who conquers whatever is placed before him.

Wounded Warrior becomes first blind Soldier to take company command

WEST POINT, N.Y. (Feb. 1, 2010) — Soldier, Infantryman, Airborne Ranger, combat diver, mountain climber, skier, triathlete, surfer, husband and father are just a few words to describe Capt. Scotty Smiley.

Now, add company commander to his resume as he became the first blind officer to assume command of a Warrior Transition Unit, Monday.

He became only the second wounded warrior to assume command of a WTU.

During Smiley’s last deployment to Iraq in 2005, he was wounded, permanently losing his vision.

After receiving medical attention, Smiley was transferred to the Fort Lewis, Wash., WTU. There he began his recovery and his journey to get back to active-duty status.

The 2003 West Point graduate wanted to get back to doing what he loved and that was serving his country in uniform.

Smiley attributes his strength and drive during his recovery to his family, faith and friends.

“It was my wife, my family and friends who were in my hospital room singing songs and reading the Bible that gave me the strength during my recovery,” he said. “It was all of this which allowed me to put one foot in front of the other and has allowed me to accomplish everything that I have done to get to where I am today.”

The Army Times 2007 Soldier of the Year looked at what had happened to him and made the decision that he was not going down the same path as the character Gary Sinise played in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.

“The decisions that Lieutenant Dan made after his injuries never came into my mind. I wanted to take care of myself–physically, mentally and spiritually,” he said. “I just did not want to give up because of something that negatively happened to me.”

He dreamed to return back to active duty, but he knew it was going to be a long and strenuous path. However, it was not anything Smiley was willing to give up on.          MORE . . .

Soldier Spotlight is a segment here at The Stafford Voice, and will continue in monthly segments. If you know of another soldier that you feel is deserving to be in the Spotlight, please contact us with the information and why you feel they are deserving.

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