Hope Unseen: The Story of the U.S. Army’s First Blind Active-Duty Officer by Scotty Smiley, Doug Crandall
I’m always hesitant to read first account stories relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Partly because I don’t like gory details, but most importantly because it makes everything my son endured during his deployment so much more real. However, I am so glad I took the risk to read this book. Although details of tragic events were given, they were done so that they weren’t the focus of the book. This is not a book about war. The focus of this book is how love, encouragement, family and faith can get us through even the most horrific events in our lives.
As Scotty Smiley shares his story from the when he enlists in the Army to climbing Mount Rainier while blind, the reader is caught up in the realness, the sincerity and the hope he’s sharing. He admits the struggles he had when he realized his dreams would not come to fruition because of the injury causing his blindness. Yet he allowed God to work in his life and he chose to become better through his adversity instead of bitter.
In many ways this book is a love story as Scotty tells of the relationship he has with his wife, Tiffany, and how a decision she made while he was unconscious is what allowed him to pursue his new dreams.
Scotty and Tiffany Smiley aren’t heroes that sat back and said they had served their country and given up so much, their heroes that asked themselves what else they could do with they life they now have.
After reading this book, I felt I really knew the hearts of both Scotty and Tiffany and I was encouraged to look at set backs differently. I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially to those that are discouraged and need a real pick me up.