By Aaron Poch, Guest Blogger
This week CPT Scott Smiley, Commander WTU West Point, spoke to the students of Liberty University. My son, Aaron, asked if he could share his thoughts. –Tim Poch, WTC Stratcom.
Having CPT Scott Smiley address our student body at Liberty University was a tremendous honor for us. CPT Smiley is a great example of the men and women of our armed forces who serve with honor and courage. So often, when someone experiences trauma like losing one’s eyesight, as CPT Smiley did, our only hope is that they can somehow recover and return back to their so-called “normal” life.
CPT Smiley, and the other wounded warriors I have seen, don’t return back to an average life. Instead, they go above and beyond, setting an example for all of us to follow.
I appreciated CPT Smiley’s genuine testimony, and how he shared with us the struggle he had emotionally and spiritually when he knew that he would never again see his beautiful wife and kids. He did not lose himself to despair and went further and stronger in achieving more in his life. He continues to go further than most people will ever go.
He went back to the service, because an American Soldier never quits. He worked to overcome his injury, train, prepare, and inspire his comrades. To me, this is what makes a hero. Someone who doesn’t see obstacles–only tasks to be accomplished.
His dedication to leading others in the right direction was an inspiration to me and my fellow students. I hope we get to see more of our heroes at our convocations in the future.
As history has taught me, America needs its heroes and benefits from their stories about how to never stop fighting for freedom, even when facing personal loss. Testimonies of real American heroes, like that of CPT Smiley, serve to inspire and encourage us to emulate them and preserve our blessed freedom.