A huge h/t to Tony Rossi of The Christophers for this Veteran's Day special.
Given short notice that he could go on leave from his tour in Iraq on April 2, 2005, Captain Scott Smiley decided to delay that leave by one month. On April 6, while on patrol with his platoon, a suicide bomber exploded a car bomb that sent shrapnel and debris into Captain Smiley's eyes and brain permanently destroying his vision.
Captain Smiley was "crushed" by the news he would never see again. Despite coming from a Christian family, he admits, "I definitely questioned God, whether He really existed." Also, hatred for the bomber led Captain Smiley into months of depression.
He was moved toward forgiveness by contemplating the Biblical mandate to "love your brother as yourself...Until I made that conscious effort to forgive him and realize he may have been lost, he may have been tricked or duped into doing what he did - that's when I was able to move out of depression and begin to...really start taking a positive step forward."
Scott Smiley had now climbed Mt. Rainer with the help of other soldiers and lives a full life claiming the scriptural platitude: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." More importantly, Smiley did not let hatred or anger define his future, he moved well beyond those emotions with the help of others in his recovery from depression.
See what happens when soldiers get the help they need?
Hear the entire interview here