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Life in Balance: Wife of wounded Iraq veteran finds her voice for wounded warrior families

Once her husband healed from his wounds caused by a suicide car bomb in Iraq, Tiffany Smiley realized that she too needed to heal the pain from almost losing her husband.

BOISE, Idaho — A Tri-Cities, Wash. woman and wife of a wounded veteran is on a mission to bring positive and genuine change to people's lives by sharing the journey she and her husband went through after he was blinded by a suicide bomber during a tour in Iraq.

In 2005, while leading his platoon in Iraq, Scotty Smiley found himself in front of a suicide car bomb. The shrapnel blew through his eyes. Scotty woke up in Walter Reed Medical Center a week later, blinded by the bomb and temporarily paralyzed.

"They didn't even know if he would live. It was the darkest, scariest point in my life," Tiffany Smiley said.

Tiffany says it was the worst day of her life, but she had no idea what was yet to come. As the darkness overwhelmed Scotty, Tiffany felt the heaviness of what it was going to take to get through it.

"My journey in caring for my husband was difficult. It was hard being the leader and charging the way. And I really dedicated myself to getting him well again," Tiffany said.

Tiffany's grit helped her husband become the first blind active-duty officer in military history.  

Scotty would go on to become the Army Times "Soldier of the Year," and earn other prestigious awards and honors. He completed the Coeur d'Alene Iron Man, climbed Mt. Rainer and he won an ESPY as the world's Best Outdoor Athlete.

Tiffany was behind him, every step of the way. 

"But I forgot who I was," Tiffany said. "And I remember looking in the mirror and thinking who am I? Do I have any worth? Do I have something to offer? Like I essentially had lost myself on the way, on that journey."

Tiffany realized Scotty had healed, but she hadn't. But through her faith, she found purpose in her pain. She has become an advocate for wounded warriors and their families, even meeting with President Donald Trump.

"To be able to stand and share with the president ways we can make it better for others was an incredible honor," Tiffany said.

And she is an advocate for women.

"My mission to is to help women step into their purpose and help them understand their value and their voice and what they have to offer," Tiffany said.

Recently, she started More Than Me, a movement and conference dedicated to helping women share their journeys to impact and change their communities.

"It's really the ability to break down your vulnerabilities, share your stories, share your gifts and talents and reach out to others because together we are more," Tiffany said.

The conference is open to all women, from CEOs to stay-at-home moms, More than Me is about helping women overcome what's holding them back.

"Our attitudes, our thoughts affect our actions so the more we can step into that purpose and positivity, the more successful we will be and the more happy we will be," Tiffany said.

You can hear more of Tiffany's inspiring story, along with three other keynote speakers, at the More than Me conference, Saturday, Jan. 19 in Boise.