Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

CPT Scott Smiley Is a "Wounded Warrior."

Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

CPT Scott Smiley Is a "Wounded Warrior."

Article excerpt

THAT title wouldn't have meant much a few years ago, when the general public was still coming to grips with the ugly realities of the war in Iraq. For the first time in more than a decade, troops were returning home with missing limbs, burns and broken bodies. Even the military didn't talk about it much; it was just bad press.

But all of that is changing. The focus is shifting from scars to sacrifice. And, Soldiers like Smiley are helping the nation realize that wounded Soldiers still have much to offer their country despite permanent injuries.

Assigned to the U.S. Army Accessions Command at Fort Monroe, Va., Smiley has turned injury into inspiration. Through public speaking engagements, local newspaper features and national television appearances the captain is shedding new light on what it means to serve one's country, despite the costs.

On April 6, 2005, Smiley's Stryker armored vehicle was attacked by a suicide bomber. Of the eight Soldiers in the vehicle, only Smiley was hurt. Shrapnel entered his brain through his left eye and the debris also damaged his right eye socket.

After emergency treatment, he was placed on a medical evacuation flight to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. There he was reunited with his family.

"I received an injury to the frontal part of the left side of my brain," he said. "I remember that my wife and family constantly prayed for me. I heard them even when I was in a medically induced coma. I didn't really remember or understand what happened. …

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