National

May 21, 2010 10:39 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

In blindness, soldiers find new niche in military

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, pictured here, is one of only a handful of soldiers who remains 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.

Smiley plans on attending President Barack Obama's speech Saturday to graduates of West Point, where he commands the Warrior Transition Unit for ailing or wounded soldiers.

Smiley has thrived in stateside postings such as his latest at West Point, from which he graduated in 2003.

Smiley was injured in April 2005.

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