Goldsmith’s Spirit of Adventure Lights Up the Darkness

Despite having lost most of his sight, Darryl Goldsmith of Pensacola, Florida, lights up the darkness in his own life through an adventuresome spirit and a constant drive to engage in new pursuits. His exciting adventures require a modest bit of risk taking but eliminate all possibility of boredom.  

As a legally blind veteran, Darryl similarly lights up the darkness for others who witness this unique zest for life by someone who sees little. They are inspired by his genuine enthusiasm for such activities normally reserved for sighted persons—scuba diving, playing the guitar, and sharing his life skills with his fellow veterans. 

In nearly every sense, Darryl embodies what it means to “Light Up the Darkness,” the theme for the Blinded Veterans Association’s 2nd annual Charity Concert at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia, on March 28 at 7:00pm.

The special event on the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College marks and celebrates, to the very day, 75 years of BVA’s service to blinded veterans and their families.

Darryl lost his sight in a Marine Corps training accident. Years later, having learned how to live without sight at world-class blind rehabilitation programs promoted by BVA and offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Darryl joined his fellow blinded veteran Paul Kaufman in carving a pumpkin in an underwater contest. In fun, they adorned it with dark glasses to make it a blind pumpkin.

Such happy feats are possible thanks to a healthy dose of self-confidence that BVA also promotes—and the confidence others place in them as well. Darryl and Paul are among the more than 150 veterans who have become dive certified through a nonprofit program started nearly ten years ago by former commercial diver and Vietnam veteran Dan Anderson.

Darryl once described a dive at Vortex Springs near his home in such detail that his fellow veterans have a difficult time believing he cannot see. He talks about caves, overhangs, grassy areas, and tree stumps.

Not limiting himself to scuba diving in the Florida deep, Darryl last year completed 12 guitar lessons at the Pensacola VA Outpatient Clinic, learning to play 15 songs after just nine months of lessons. Prior to that time, he had never played a guitar before in his life.

Truly Darryl Goldsmith is another one of America’s blinded veterans who lives to “light up the darkness” in his own life and the lives of all who know him, motivated by the can-do, enduring spirit of the organization to which he has belonged for some 25 years and which will illuminate brightly on March 28.  

Delta Spur is a District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia group providing an energetic performance of fresh, modern county music. The group has entertained thousands at landmark venues like Horseshoe and Harrington Casinos, Bryce Mountain Ski Resort, and now at Northern Virginia Community College in support of programs aimed at enhancing the lives of blinded veterans such as Lonnie Bedwell.

Darryl Goldsmith’s free and adventuresome spirit lights up his own darkness and that of those inspired by him. A similar energy will pervade BVA’s 2nd annual Light Up the Darkness concert March 28 in Annandale, Virginia.
Darryl Goldsmith’s free and adventuresome spirit lights up his own darkness and that of those inspired by him. A similar energy will pervade BVA’s 2nd annual Light Up the Darkness concert March 28 in Annandale, Virginia.

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