Scotty Smiley
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Scotty Smiley

First Blind Active Duty Officer in Military History; Author, Hope Unseen

After losing his eyesight while serving in Iraq, Scotty Smiley's life is proof that hope in the face of adversity can conquer all obstacles. He went on to become the first blind active duty officer in the military, the author of the book Hope Unseen, receive an MBA from Duke, build a career in finance, win the Macarthur Leadership Award and the ESPN ESPY award, and become an IronMan.

 
Thriving and Overcoming the Most Extreme Obstacles

As a West Point graduate, Scotty Smiley had nothing but the highest expectations for himself and his military career. He had a new wife and was quickly establishing himself in the Army as a strong leader. He deployed to Iraq in 2005 when all those dreams went completely black. A suicide bomber decided to blow himself up 50 yards in front of Smiley, severely injuring and blinding him for the rest of his life. He fought through depression, hopelessness and tragedy to become the first blind active duty officer in the military, an author, veteran advocate, IronMan and avid adventurer. In his inspiring and honest presentation, he will move audiences with his incredible story of triumph and hope for overcoming even life’s cruelest tragedies and obstacles.

Power of Teamwork

Scotty Smiley found himself helpless, blind and barely alive when he woke up in Walter Reed Medical Center after getting his eyes blown up by a suicide car bomber while serving in Iraq. He was once an accomplished graduate of West Point, and a leader in the Army, and he now found himself completely dependent on his wife, medical team and those around him to do even the simplest tasks. Smiley learned quickly that if he wanted to get his life back, he would need to work with other people and support other people. Through the power of teamwork, he has been able to continue as an officer in the Army, write a book, become an investment banker, climb mountains, go surfing and complete an IronMan. In his speech, he will highlight how teamwork is the key to not only getting further in life and accomplishing our goals, but also living a happier life. Audiences will be inspired to work with and support those around them, regardless of the obstacles.

Hope Unseen

The definition of hope is “to expect with confidence,” but what do you do when you’ve lost confidence in everything? When you’ve watched your dreams go up in smoke and when you start to question the God you’ve built your life around? As Scotty Smiley lay in his hospital bed in Washington, D.C. after being severely wounded by a suicide bomber while serving in Iraq, he was drowning in despair. All his plans about returning home to his beautiful wife, starting a family and building a career in the military seemed completely dead, and he began to wonder if death would’ve been a better ending to his story. Slowly God showed Smiley that His current plan was far better than the one he’d had for himself. He taught Smiley to expect with confidence that God was working and that He was good. Smiley was able to go on to become the first blind active duty officer in the Army, write a book, have three beautiful sons and pursue adventures all over the world. In his encouraging and inspiring presentation he will tell his incredible story of faith, hope and the love that saw him through.
 

Meet Scotty Smiley

After losing his eyesight while serving in Iraq, Scotty Smiley's life is proof that hope in the face of adversity can conquer all obstacles. He went on to become the first blind active duty officer in the military, and the author of the book Hope Unseen, receive an MBA from Duke, build a career in finance, win the Macarthur Leadership Award, and the ESPN ESPY award, and finish an IronMan.

Scotty Smiley was blinded and almost killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. He then went on to become the first blind active duty officer in military history, win the Army Times “Soldier of the Year” award, author the book Hope Unseen, get an MBA from Duke University, complete an Ironman and become an investment banker. Smiley uses his story of strength, leadership, team work and perseverance to inspire audiences to overcome whatever obstacles are holding them back from achieving their goals and ambitions. He candidly shares stories from war, faith, leadership, coming close to death and finding hope when all seemed hopeless. His journey is sure to leave audiences moved and motivated to take action to improve their circumstances, whatever they might be.

 

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