[nfbwatlk] Blind Soldiers Still Serving, Thriving In New Positions, Huffington Post, May 21 2010
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Mon May 24 21:28:11 CDT 2010
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From: "Nightingale, Noel" <Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov>
To: <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 4:26 PM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Blind Soldiers Still Serving, Thriving In New Positions,
Huffington Post, May 21 2010
> Blind Soldiers Still Serving, Thriving In New Positions
> MICHAEL HILL | 05/21/10
> In this April 8, 2010 photo, Capt. Scott Smiley gives a tour of his
> staff's offices in West Point, N.Y. Smiley is one of only a few blind
> soldiers to remain on active duty since the fighting in Iraq and
> Afghanistan. Though unable to return to his old infantry duties, Smiley
> has thrived in stateside postings like his latest at West Point, where he
> graduated in 2003. He now commands the Warrior Transition Unit here for
> ailing or wounded soldiers. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
> WEST POINT, N.Y. - Since a car bomb blinded Capt. Scott Smiley in Iraq, he
> has skied Vail, climbed Mount Rainier, earned his MBA, raised two young
> boys with his wife, won an Espy award and pulled himself up from
> faith-shaking depths.
> Smiley, 30, has snagged attention for his big accomplishments. But the
> daily ones are telling, too, including the recent tour he gave of his
> staff's offices at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he plans
> to attend President Barack Obama's address of the Class of 2010 on
> Unable to see the path around the workers' cubicles, Smiley stepped
> forward with a joke to the camouflage-clad officers he was showing around:
> "I walk around, and when I hit things, I move," he said.
> An aide trailing him said softly, "Turn right, sir," at a doorway. Smiley
> Smiley, of Pasco, Wash., is one of only a handful of soldiers who chose to
> remain on active duty after being blinded by fighting in Iraq and
> Afghanistan, a practice that's rare but one that military officials say
> benefits both parties.
> Though unable to return to his old infantry duties in Iraq, Smiley has
> thrived in stateside postings such as his latest at West Point, from which
> he graduated in 2003. He now commands the Warrior Transition Unit at West
> Point for ailing or wounded soldiers.
> Voice software allows Smiley to listen to e-mails, books and pamphlets.
> Aides help him navigate and tell him what order he's signing. It's a
> little like changing his son's diapers at home: He's fine as long as he
> knows where everything is.
> His resiliency and energy helped him earn the 2007 Soldier of the Year
> commendation from the publication Army Times, as well as an ESPN Espy
> award in 2008 for best outdoor athlete.
> He earned his master's of business administration at Duke University and
> has spoken to the Olympic and Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, a
> fellow West Point alum. He has a memoir coming out this year titled "Hope
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