Blind soldier honored by USO of Illinois

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The first blind, active-duty soldier in the United States Army is honored Saturday night in Chicago.

The USO of Illinois presented Major Scott Smiley with the "Angel Harvey Heart of a Patriot" award at its annual gala at the Field Museum.

The award highlights exceptional stories of valor.

Smiley was blinded while protecting his platoon from a roadside bomb in Iraq.

"I remember waking up at Walter Reed Medical Center, blind the rest of my life," Smiley said. "It was the USO who gave me a toothbrush, shaving, assisted me in giving me my first pair of clothes back to the United States."

After he was blinded Smiley not only continued to serve his country, he also earned an MBA, climbed Mount Rainier and just recently completed an ironman triathlon.
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