After her husband lost his eyesight in Iraq, Tiffany Smiley is o - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

After her husband lost his eyesight in Iraq, Tiffany Smiley is on a quest for all veterans who have sacrificed

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Tiffany Smiley, is on a quest to inspire women to believe in themselves and recognize the power they hold within.

After a suicide car bomb took the eyesight of her husband while he was deployed in Iraq, Tiffany saw all the plans and dreams she had for her life and her husband be shattered in an instant. Not only had her husband Scotty lost his eyesight, he had lost his purpose. He was left completely broken, unable to see for himself the potential he still possessed and the greater purpose that still existed for his life. But Tiffany had a greater vision for him.

As a trained nurse she knew what it was going to take to bring wholeness to her husband. He didn't just need physical healing, even though he would never see again, he needed emotional and spiritual healing as well.

"I remember Scotty lying in his bed while he was at Walter Reed and hearing military officials say things like, 'This is just so sad. He was such a great leader.' I would immediately reply with 'He still will be.'"

She began a battle, pouring into her husband everything she had, slowing revealing the incredible life he could still live as a leader, teacher and author. To her, the possibilities for his life were endless.

The vision Tiffany had for her husband eventually became reality. Scotty became the first blind, active-duty military officer and he taught students in ROTC programs. He wrote a book, "Hope Unseen," which told his story and continued to defy odds with his physical body too. He learned to surf, climb a mountain, and even became an Iron Man during one of the hottest races ever recorded - Coeur d'Alene 2015.

However, along the path to his recovery, Tiffany found she had lost her own identity. Following her husband's injury, Tiffany had quit her job as a nurse, a career she planned to have for years. She and Scotty also became parents to three beautiful boys who she poured into. She had been so busy filling up everyone else's cup, she found herself feeling empty and in a very dark place. Amidst her own darkness she lost sight of her own power, her own purpose and the potential she still had to accomplish her own dreams. At times she thought her life was over and didn't see a way out, but slowly, through her faith in God, her supportive husband and good women in her life, she began to see the light again.

Her story is one that many caretakers of wounded veterans can relate to, but it's also one that all women can relate to as well. Feelings of inadequacy in every aspect of life as a mom, wife and career woman can plague even the most capable women in the world.

Today though, Tiffany has a new perspective. She knows the dark place that she once felt stuck in and sees how blind she was in that time to her own potential. The progress and transformation she's made since then gives her hope for every woman, every mom and every wife.   

Today Tiffany has two missions she's passionately pursuing:
1. Empowering women no matter where they find themselves in life (often times, it's not on the path they planned to be on)
2. Reforming the V.A. system for our veterans.

Little did she know,  when she was fighting to make her husband whole again after his devastating injury, one of the biggest obstacles they would face was what she found to be a very broken V.A. system. Time and time again, she faced obstacle after obstacle trying to get her husband the help and care he needed. It left her in disbelief.

"How was this the standard of care we are giving our military members whose lives have been changed in the worst way?"

But it also left her with a burning desire to bring change for everyone.

Tiffany has walked the halls of Walter Reed. Burned in her mind are the faces she saw of countless men and women, left hopeless after serving their country. So many of them not only lacked a support system from their own families, but a support system from the very country they fought for. In her eyes, the V.A. is letting down thousands of Americans who have sacrificed everything. What she saw in those halls completely broke her heart. She made a promise to herself in that if ever given the opportunity, she would bring change for those men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Today, Tiffany is heading down the path to fulfill that promise to herself. Over the past year she has been to Capitol Hill multiple times to meet with some of the country's biggest policy makers. She has also briefed President Trump on the struggles and challenges she and Scotty faced within the V.A. and what needs to be changed so that when our veterans come home, they know the country they sacrificed so much for, will in turn fight for them.

In their most recent invitations to Washington D.C. Tiffany and Scotty attended the State of the Union address. They have also attended and spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. It's an incredible honor she says she so humbly accepts as she knows this is a journey that's just beginning.

Tiffany has also decided to launch a series of women's conferences called "Story By Faith." Her first conference was held in the Tri-Cities on February 17th and her second conference in scheduled to be in Spokane on April 21st. The conferences focus on bringing women together to hear and share inspiring stories. They also focus on equipping women with the tools needed to become the best versions of themselves to boldly go after their goals and dreams despite their fear. Her vision is to continue to bring these conferences to cities across the nation.

Follow Tiffany on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=tiffany%20smiley
Follow Tiffany on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffanysmiley9/
Follow Tiffany on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TiffanySmiley9

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