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Hope Unseen: The Story of the U.S. Army's First Blind Active-Duty Officer
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Hope Unseen: The Story of the U.S. Army's First Blind Active-Duty Officer

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  344 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Hope Unseen challenges readers to question their doubts, not their beliefs, and depend upon God no matter what—the inspiring true story of “blind” faith.

A nervous glance from a man in a parked car. Muted instincts from a soldier on patrol. Violent destruction followed by total darkness. Two weeks later, Scotty Smiley woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, helpless . .
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Howard Books
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"Imagine waking up in a hospital bed, thousands of miles from where you believed you were supposed to be (leading your soldiers in combat), and in an instant realizing the world is permanently dark . . . The devastation I felt is beyond words. I cried. I cried tears from eyes that no longer served any other purpose."

Reading Captain Scotty Smiley's memoir touched me on many levels. His courage, honesty, and desire to share his tragic and humbling, faith-affirming journey from light to darkness ba
Nov 15, 2010 Sally rated it did not like it
Read this for book club - not really my cup of tea as I'm not really a fan of heavily inspirational stories. The best part, by far, was the description of the scene where he was injured. That chapter was quite compelling, and I wish the writing in the rest of the book had been able to stand up to that.
Mar 31, 2017 Tung rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Scotty Smiley’s early life was a dream: grew up in a loving, Christian family; had a pretty childhood sweetheart; played sports, including winning a state championship in football; got into West Point. But everything turned one day when Scotty was on patrol in Iraq. A suicide bomber blew up in front of him, nearly killing Scotty and permanently destroying both of his eyes. This memoir recounts Scotty’s early life, his memories from that fateful day and the long recovery afterwards, and more impo ...more
Jun 11, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-books
This cannot fail to be an inspiration to all who read it. Captain Smiley was first introduced to me at our church where he was invited to speak for the Memorial Day weekend service. His book was there for sale also and I purchased it and had him sign it after the service. Great experiences of suffering can either deepen one's faith or cancel it out, depending on what choices we make. Scotty Smiley and his wife, Tiffany, are two people who have allowed God to deepen their faith through suffering ...more
Mar 09, 2011 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You've graduated from The Military Academy at West Point and you've completed your Ranger Training, a required course for all First Lt.s. coming out of West Point, before you are allowed to lead soldiers in the field.

You're also a newly wed and looking forward to living a full life with your bride. Your orders come in and you are heading to Iraq. Both your wife and you have been church going, praying and Bible reading Christians all of your lives. So, everything is going your way and a year lo
Oct 22, 2010 Catie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this book was great. I picked it up Friday and spent a good portion of my weekend in its pages, finishing it up on Sunday. Scott Smiley is a good balance of light-hearted and profound as he details his journey from West Point cadet to battalion leader in Iraq to blind active duty officer now teaching leadership at West Point. His tremendous faith in God and love for his family & friends & country shines through and uplifts. Read it read it read it!
Feb 12, 2011 Bill rated it did not like it
Yes, this man's story can definitely be inspiring. Since being blinded in Iraq, Scotty Smiley has indeed accomplished a lot. However, I am not much of a God & Country guy. While Smiley can easily reconcile his belief in God with his killing folks as a soldier, I cannot. So, all his "Christian values" fell on deaf ears in my case.
Dec 12, 2010 Paul rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: none
Recommended to Paul by: who else?
My hat's off to Smilely for his service and for conquering graduate level statistics without the add of scratch paper, chalk board or calculator. Wow. Otherwise, this book is strictly for God's sheep, of which I am not. This and the lack luster writing brought on the low rating.
Mar 11, 2017 Cyndi rated it really liked it
I know what it is like for one person to go blind gradually over many years as I watched from brother go from a sighted person to being blind. In Smiley's case, he was blinded suddenly by a bomb while serving in the army when the enemy blew himself up close to him. Smiley went from knowing one way of life to suddenly having to learn a new way and it wasn't easy. I can't imagine anyone saying, oh, well, this is something different. He went through the normal grieving process of losing his sight, ...more
Abby Adams
Mar 11, 2017 Abby Adams rated it it was amazing
This book was very inspirational. It was a quick read and went through it very fast but nonetheless it was a great read I highly recommend!
Lisa Johnson
Nov 10, 2012 Lisa Johnson rated it it was amazing
Title: Hope Unseen
Author: Capt. Scotty Smiley
Pages: 256
Year: 2012
Publisher: Howard Books
How many biographies have you read? Have you ever read any autobiographies? Hope Unseen is a very inspiring life story about “The U.S. Army’s First Blind Active-Duty Officer.” Many times throughout our lives we may have planned, prepared for and achieved our goals that were at one time a dream. Now, coming through the other side of such adversity, Captain Scotty shares his life an
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Captain Scotty Smiley, might not see things like we do, but it doesn't mean he doesn't see what is important and how to live his life despite seemingly difficult circumstances. While serving in Mosul in Iraq he became the target of a suicide bomber and subsequently lost his eyesight. He could have dealt with things as most of us would have and simply come home and attempt to live a life as best as he could now being completely blind, but he didn't. He did things most of us only imagine. He scale ...more
Jocelyn Green
Apr 07, 2013 Jocelyn Green rated it it was amazing
I am not usually a big fan of books about people who lived through a traumatic event, and I’ll tell you why. Some books tell readers everything about a person’s life, when really, we just want to know about the traumatic event and recovery, with enough backstory to make it meaningful. But please, don’t tell me about your sixth grade dance. Other books about traumatic events either don’t feel authentic, as in, the author doesn’t really let us see the ugly side of their journey because he/she does ...more
Karen & Gerard
A Remarkable story! Hope Unseen by Captain Scott Smiley and Doug Crandall works in so many ways. Scott Smiley was a platoon leader in Iraq when a bomb blinded him for life but not before he helped save the men under his command. He received the Purple Heart. He climbed up a mountain, surfed in Hawaii, got his M.B.A. from Duke and won the MacArthur Leadership Award--all while blind! This is also a great faith story. He was strong in the faith of the Lord, lost it, and now he gives talks in church ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Albert rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
This is an autobiography of an Army officer who was injured in Iraq, resulting in complete blindness and his journey through this process. The story is inspiring, but I question how applicable it would be for the general reader: Scotty faced unimaginable lows and overcame them. Much of this is because of the people he came to know along the journey; those of us who don’t have that kind of support system will have a much more difficult time overcoming obstacles in life.

I also had difficulty with
Dec 18, 2016 Dwayne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biograpy
This book was amazing. I suggest to anyone. It shows you about never giving up and anyone doing anything that they put their mind too.
Jun 09, 2011 Brooke rated it really liked it
Really good read that I just couldn't put down. Its the story of a soldier who lost his eyes in a car bomb in Iraq and his struggle dealing with a new life of blindness. Scotty is also a man of faith and the book talks a lot, very honest and frank, about the subsequent loss of faith and his renewing his faith through what would be a testing time for anyone. I liked how the book wasn't just about Scotty, it is also about his wife, who's also had her life turned upside down by Scotts blindness.

I g
Oct 21, 2010 IrenesBookReviews rated it it was amazing
This is a very moving story about an officer in the Army who loses his sight while serving in Iraq. You will follow him on his journey through the loss of his sight to accomplishing goals he never thought possible.

This book is not about the tragedy of something lost but about the hope for a future. From mountain climbing to surfing you will follow this brave man as he conquers adventures even a man with sight may find hard.

I enjoyed reading this book. I liked how it showed the positive and nega
Monica Holvey
Aug 22, 2013 Monica Holvey rated it it was amazing
This story is truly inspirational... I personally know Scotty and he is a living and breathing example of my favorite poem:

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."

In the beginning, he was the person who did feel sorry for himself. All of us would if our sight was taken from us. This man had to mentally overcome his blindness, and this story illustrates that he did. The underlying tone here, however, is what
Elizabeth T
Great reminder of Phil. 4:13 in practice...thanks for sharing your story, Capt. Smiley!
Jul 24, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Imagine you have lost your eyesight and now you not only have to relearn everyday tasks as a blind person, but you also want to continue your military career? Active Duty Army Officer, Scott Smiley inspires the reader with his stalwart faith and courage in his book, Hope Unseen. Scott found the strength to reclaim his career, despite his injuries while serving in Iraq, and pursued his athletic achievements even after losing his eyesight. He climbed Mount Rainier, surfed, skydived, won an ESPY a
Mar 02, 2015 Glen rated it liked it
Wanted to like this book more than I did. But several things held it back. First, it's a competing story but the front end was weak. Almost like its was an afterthought. It did move me along as the reader. Second, it felt like it skipped around at times. Can't put my finger on why it felt that way but it did. Third, there were parts in the bool which felt odd, almost like they didn't belong there.

The highlight, and best written part, of the book is the story of his recovery. The writing felt mo
Dec 15, 2012 Denise rated it it was amazing
Encouroat the challenges. aging telling of a man who struggles to accept an awful situation. I appreciate that he doesn't sugarcoat the challenges. Since he is honest about the hardship, the victory is also believable. As a teacher, I especially liked his honest portrayal of his first teaching experiences. I plan to use his story in my class - to help students realize you only lose if you quit trying!
Jul 04, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
An inspirational story of living your faith and finding freedom and possibility in the worst of circumstances. Written as more of a conversation than a novel or autobiography. I do not usually read a lot of military stories but we used this as a read a loud. The boys were impressed. You read the book and you know that he is a hero but you do not feel that removed from the sense that if you met him, you feel like he could be a friend of your family.
JJessica KennedyDAWS
I've been searching for a Christian biography where someone struggles with their faith. There is no such struggle in this book. I feel like it skimmed the edges of his "real" feelings. I'm disabled. I could imagine the loss of sight. I wonder if an able-bodied person felt what he felt through his writing. I don't think so, but my opinion might be biased, because I was hoping for something different.
Mar 28, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was full of raw emotion well put into words. It is honest and was a boost for me in the faith department. I have been to West Point, so I understand a lot of the lingo, but I think it would be very meaningful to someone who didn't have that background as well. I wouldn't want to be in CPT Smiley's shoes, but I appreciated him showing me what it might be like. He is truly a hero and a leader of character and I am honored that he is still serving in our Army.
Feb 12, 2015 Sandi rated it it was amazing
I am not really one who likes to read autobiographies of anyone. They're usually boring and kind of self-serving in a read-my-story-so-you-know-how-great-I-am way. I'm not sure what made me pick this one up but I'm so glad I did! Scotty's story is not the history of his life but the story of how his life began. He gives us a glimpse of the frustration and pain he felt but also the absolute trust he has in God. It's a story of faith and perseverance and love.
Kathryn Johnston
i went to high school with scotty, and spent summers working at the pool with him. he was the all american boy, the kind every girl loves, and mother adores! he was super athletic, funny and kind to everyone. he married a gorgeous girl that he dated in high school and was off to war after graduating from west point. now he is blind from a car bomb, but still living his life in an amazing way! i haven't read this book yet but im sure it will be awesome....
Joan Parker
Nov 27, 2010 Joan Parker rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book. Written with complete honesty of his thoughts and feelings. This man has amazing integrity to choose life and life abundantly instead of defeat. Also so encouraging to see how the hand of God has worked in his life and to remind us all the joys of walking by faith!
Kimberly McRae
Jun 20, 2011 Kimberly McRae rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
Hope Unseen is a wonderful account of one man's faith in God through unexpected circumstances. Captain Smiley candidly shares his experiences, thoughts, trials, and triumphs with the reader. Scotty and Tiffany Smiley's lives are a testimony of God's faithfulness to His children and are an inspiration to others.
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