Retired Army Major Scott Smiley recently visited the Veterans Memorial Plaza at Anacortes High School’s Seahawk Stadium. Smiley was wounded in Iraq in 2005 when a roadside bomb left him completely blind.
Retired Air Force Colonel Richard Iversen, a member of the Veterans Memorial Committee, brought Smiley and his brother-in-law Travis Elliot to the plaza to see the memorial and the plaques honoring two Medal of Honor recipients.
“Though totally blind, there is no doubt that he could feel in his heart and see in his mind, the spirit of those who gave their lives defending our freedoms here in Anacortes and across the nation,” said Iversen. “We were blessed to have him visit our Veteran's Memorial.”
Following his injury in Iraq, Smiley continued to serve in the Army as the first blind active-duty officer in military history. In 2007, the Army named him "Soldier of the Year" and in 2008 he won an ESPY as the "World's Best Outdoor Athlete."
He is the recipient of the Army's prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award. After teaching at the Army ROTC program at Gonzaga University, Smiley retired from the military in 2015. He holds the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab and Airborne and Combat Diver Badge.
Smiley lives in Spokane and travels around the country speaking and sharing his message of hope, courage and perseverance.
The Veterans Memorial Plaza will be open this Memorial Day, Monday, May 29 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the public to visit.
Courtesy Anacortes School District