A look at one man’s story may inspire many people, veterans or not, to help others overcome difficulties such as blindness. Consider the case of First Sergeant Danny Wallace (Ret.). He enlisted in the Army as an infantryman, completing one-stop training that included basic airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia.
He served for a total of 20 years as a rifleman, radio transmitter operator, team leader, squad leader, ranger instructor, platoon sergeant, company executive officer, and company first sergeant. During a tour in Iraq, Wallace’s life changed forever. Two weeks before Christmas, a car bomb attack in Tal Afar left him totally blind. After multiple surgeries—to attach both retinas, replace the cornea in his right eye, and stitch severe wounds to his face and neck—he was still blind in one eye but had limited vision in the other.
Wallace remained on active duty for two years after his injury. Upon retiring, he struggled with the transition to civilian life. “I felt distant and unwilling to participate in any veterans organization,” he recalled.